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Master of Business Administration

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Bellos

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Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Bellos is an Associate Professor in the Information Systems and Operations Management area at the School of Business, George Mason University. His research interests are found at the intersection of sustainable and service operations with an emphasis on innovative business models. His primary focus has been on service-based business models shaping what is known as the sharing and access economy. The novelty of these business models lies in the fact that customer value is linked primarily to the product “use” rather than the product. He also studies the emerging practice of service design as a managerial discipline. Prof.Bellos’ work has appeared in book chapters and leading journals, including Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, and Production and Operations Management. Read his full biography here.

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MS in Data Analytics Engineering

MS in Data Analytics Engineering

James Baldo

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James Baldo’s engineering career has provided him with a broad foundation of knowledge and experience in engineering systems responsible for detecting, identifying, tracking, and predicting the behavior of objects based on multiple sources of data. Baldo’s work environment has been greatly affected by big data, which resulted in his utilizing new technologies and analytical methods. Baldo’s experience and skill in leading engineering teams has been instrumental in navigating the needs and expectation of business owners, as well as managing, galvanizing, and synergizing teams of talented engineers.

Baldo’s experience as a practicing engineer has provided him with a great appreciation in educating engineers with a solid foundation in mathematics, science, statistics, and engineering. As an instructor, Baldo packages theory and practice in his courses to prepare students for addressing real world problems. Read his full biography here.

Watch the Virtual Q&A with Jim Baldo, program director for the MS in Data Analytics Engineering.

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MS Applied Information Technology

MS Applied Information Technology

Dr. Ioulia Rytikova

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Dr. Ioulia Rytikova is an Associate Professor and an Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology. She received a B.S./M.S. degree in Automated Control Systems Engineering and Information Processing and her Ph.D. in Automated Control Systems from National University of Science and Technology. Dr. Rytikova designed and developed multiple interdisciplinary programs, concentrations, and courses in the emerging areas of data sciences and big data analytics, computer and information technologies, health information technologies, and statistical analysis. Read her full biography here.

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Masters in Economics

Masters in Economics

Christopher Coyne

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Christopher Coyne is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the Associate Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center. He is the Co-Editor of The Review of Austrian Economics, The Independent Review, and Advances in Austrian Economics. He also serves as the Book Review Editor for Public Choice. In 2008, Coyne was named the Hayek Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, and in 2010 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center at Bowling Green State University. Read his full biography here.

Watch the Virtual Q&A with Christopher Coyne, Director of Graduate Programs and Professor of Economics.

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MS in Health Informatics and Graduate Certificate

MS in Health Informatics and Graduate Certificate

Dr. Green-Lawson

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Dr. Zakevia D. Green-Lawson is the program coordinator for the online Master of Science in Health Informatics program in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) within the Department of Health Administration and Policy (HAP). Green-Lawson’s research interests are health information exchange (HIE), interoperability, electronic health records (EHRs), cultural competency, global informatics, health informatics and information-management curriculum development and redesign, online learning, and andragogy within health informatics and information management. Green-Lawson’s research has been published in the Journal of American Health Information Management Association, the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, and the Maryland Nurse News and Journal. Green-Lawson’s teaching responsibilities include the Introduction to Health Informatics, Health Data: Vocabulary and Standards, and Consumer Health Informatics. Read her full biography here.

Watch the Virtual Q&A with Dr Green-Lawson, program coordinator for the MS and Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics programs.

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MS in Learning Design and Technology

MS in Learning Design and Technology

Dr. Nada Dabbagh

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Nada Dabbagh is Professor and Director of the Division of Learning Technologies in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. She holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Design from The Pennsylvania State University and a Masters of Science in Math Methodology and Operations Research from Columbia University. Dr. Dabbagh teaches graduate courses in instructional design, e-learning pedagogy, and cognition and technology in the Learning Design and Technology (LDT) and the Learning Technologies Design Research (LTDR) programs. In 2003, Dr. Dabbagh received the George Mason University Teaching Excellence award, Mason’s highest recognition for faculty members who demonstrate exceptional skill in and commitment to their teaching and learning practice. Read her full biography here.

Watch the Virtual Q&A with Dr. Nada Dabbagh, Division Director for the MS in Learning Design and Technology program.

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Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Cheryl Oetjen

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Dr. Oetjen is an Associate Professor for the MSN & DNP programs in the School of Nursing. Oetjen’s educational interests include nursing leadership, advancing the role of nurses in health care, and quality care of children and adolescents. She is an expert on pediatric care — most of her career has been focused on improving quality care and removing barriers to access for vulnerable and uninsured children. During her doctorate program, her capstone project focused on the quality care of children with asthma. Read her full biography here.

Watch the Virtual Q&A with Cheryl Oetjen, Associate Professor in the School of Nursing for the MSN program. Play Now >

Master of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Master of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Dr. Afra Ahmad

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Dr. Afra Saeed Ahmad is the program director of the online Master’s of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She received her BA in Psychology (2008), MA (2008) and PhD (2016) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology right here at George Mason University! Afra worked as an assistant professor of management at Zayed University in Dubai for three years before returning home to Mason. Read her full biography here.

Watch the Virtual Q&A with Dr. Afra Ahmad, program director for the MPS-Industrial and Organizational Psychology program.

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Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work

Dr. Daphne King

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Dr. Daphne King is an Assistant Professor and MSW Online Program Coordinator in the Social Work Department/College of Health and Human Service. King’s research interests are self-esteem issues in teens and adolescents, mental health concerns and treatment modalities for women of color, specifically African-American women, and the impact engagement in Christianity or spiritual practices have on self-esteem. King is an expert in treating teens and adolescents with self-esteem issues and depression and has facilitated numerous clinical and psychoeducational groups on self-esteem issues for teens. Before coming to Mason, King was an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University and a school social worker with Loudoun County Public Schools. Read her full biography here.

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Master of Education in Special Education and Graduate Certificates

Master of Education in Special Education and Graduate Certificates

Dr. Jodi M. Duke

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Dr. Duke is an Associate Professor in the Division of Special Education and Disability Research. She is also the Academic Program Coordinator of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Program.

Dr. Duke received a B.S. in Elementary Education from University of Michigan, a M.S. in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University, and an Ed.D. in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on postsecondary transition and college supports for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities. Read her full biography here.

Watch the Virtual Q&A with Dr. Jodi M. Duke, Associate Professor in the Division of Special Education and Disability Research.

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TESOL (MEd Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction)

TESOL (MEd Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction)

Dr. Kathleen A. Ramos

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Dr. Kathleen A. Ramos is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development, School of Education. She is also the Co-Academic Program Coordinator for the Teaching Culturally, Linguistically Diverse and Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) graduate program. She is an experienced educator who has been working closely with culturally and linguistically diverse learners and their families since 1992. Dr. Ramos earned a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and also holds an M.A. in Foreign Language Teaching earned at Pitt. She began her work as a teacher educator in Pennsylvania. Dr. Ramos joined the faculty of Mason’s TCLDEL graduate program in August 2016. As a teacher educator, she is dedicated to supporting preservice and in-service teachers locally, nationally, and globally to strengthen their capacity to serve culturally and linguistically diverse students and their families with excellence and equity. Read her full biography here.

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MHA Health Systems Management

MHA Health Systems Management

Dr. Brenda Helen Sheingold

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Dr. Brenda Helen Sheingold is the Director for the Master of Healthcare Administration at the Department of Health Administration and Policy. She was awarded a dual-titled PhD from George Mason University in Public Policy and Nursing, a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business, where she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Leadership and Change Management. Her research to identify and measure social capital in the healthcare workforce has been replicated by scholars globally and recognized by the Royal College of Nursing. She was founding faculty for George Washington University’s School of Nursing where she served as the Director of the Healthcare Quality Master’s and Doctoral programs. Read her full biography here.

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MS Computer Science

MS Computer Science

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Master of Business Administration Transcript

[00:00:00] Thank you, Alex. Hi everyone. My name is Janis Belos. I’m an associate professor of information systems and operations management at the G school of business. I’m also the, as Alex mentioned, I’m also the MBA program director, but I have to admit that my favorite hat is that of the MBA faculty, someone who has been interacting with and teaching MBA students for the past several years in a variety of four months, whether face to face hybrid or online, I look forward to selling my perspectives with everyone today. And of course, I’m also thrilled to be in the company of drew. Who’s one of our current students. I think it, it, it speaks volumes when current or past students take the time to talk about the program, drew you to introduce yourself.

Hi, everyone. Drew Edwards. I am, uh, five classes away from graduating. Be May, 2023 with my MBA, with a concentration in business analytics. [00:01:00] Uh, welcome to George Mason university. First and foremost, I hope you’ll find this place as much of a welcoming home as I have. And there’s some great professors and you really enjoyed Dr. Be’s class. I can tell you that it was definitely one of my favorites, but yeah. Welcome to George Mason. Let’s talk Mason, online MBA. As you can see in the next slide, our program comprises 48 credits. That is 10 core courses, five elective courses, and one global requirement, which students can meet. By choosing between international residency and a traditional course with an international emphasis, the international residency is one of the distinctive characteristics of our MBA program.

All courses take place over eight week modules. Each semester, fall spring summer has two modules. Another distinctive characteristic of our program is that, although this is an asynchronous online program, we do keep the class [00:02:00] sizes below 30 students, which is not the norm with online programs in general.

The reason we do that is because we are going to facilitate interpersonal connections between the instructor and in general, among the students, I should not forget to brag about. A few facts, both are online and face to face. MBA programs are in the top 100. Most recently, the us news and world reports ranked us number 19 in the best online general management, MBA programs and number 17 in the best online business analytics, MBA programs.

We will talk about our business analytic offering, um, in more detail shortly. And the school of business, the George Mason school of business is one of the only 189 schools in the world with both business and accounting programs accredited by the a C S B. Students who enroll in our courses, students who enroll in our program take courses from faculty members who do cutting edge research in their domains.

They are known and [00:03:00] well respected in their fields and are frequently quoted in the business and popular press. Our faculty specialize in three broad areas, ensuring global future futures, digital transformation of work and entrepreneurship and innovation, more than 40% of. Uh, of our faculty come from international origins and nearly half nearly half of the faculty speaks more than speaks more than one, uh, language.

In the next slide. You can see a snapshot of our curriculum. In addition to our core courses, which aim to enable students to gain the holistic understanding of business, we offer several electives through which students can further improve both thereof and quantitative skills. Speaking of quantitative skills in, in the next slide, I would like to emphasize, to provide more details about one of our very successful and popular offerings, which is a certificate in business analytics. This is a 12 credit [00:04:00] certificate that requires four courses, data mining for business analytics, and three more elective courses. I will emphasize that students can pursue this certificate as part of the MBA program or as a standalone option without having been admitted to the.

They can use a certificate as a pathway to the MBA program or not. That is if you join the MBA program, you can use a certificate credit, the certificate credits towards the 40, 48 credits that I mentioned earlier. And another thing that I mentioned earlier is that our program was recently ranked as number 17 for based online business analytics.

MBA program in the next slide, you can see some of the places that our MBA students have visited through the global residents in the past, our students spent a week abroad visiting and standing companies in a foreign country and participating in cultural activities. Our students recently only a couple of weeks ago returned from their trip to Dubai.

And the [00:05:00] pictures that they have shared with us are breathtaking in terms. And as you can see in the next slide, in terms of course, expectations, students should expect to learn a lot and have fun. No two courses are the same. Our instructors bring their own unique approaches and teaching philosophies, but overall, our courses are interactive and the instructors facilitate active learning through prerecorded video lectures, optional live sessions, hands on activities, such as simulations, group projects, group, project.

And real life case studies in terms of workload. The expected time per week is somewhere between six and eight hours, per course. But this may depend on prior education and professional background, and I’m sure that drew will co comment on that further later, the next video offers you a preview of our courses and how we deliver content to our student.

Are you guys not getting [00:06:00] audio? All right, give me, hold on, give one second. Now, drew, what is this all about here? Do you remember what that normal distribution goes for? Not a specific one, but it’s certainly a Gaussian distribution. the let’s tour of Blackboard. All of your important information can be found by using the navigation on the left hand side of your screen here.

Find the link to course announcements, your course, syllabus assignments and the library at George Mason, we believe strongly in providing you with opportunities to test your knowledge and receive feedback in real time. The only difference is that we’ll also add today’s costs. Faculty have curated and creative custom videos and tutorials to provide you the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the content.

The case of association rules, a classic. Example of association, who is what is called market. Thank you, Alex. As, as probably you noticed [00:07:00] I have my own, I have created my own avatar for my operations management course. A couple of more things that I would like to add is that our students have a diverse academic and profess academic and, uh, professional background.

No, but no matter what your background is, the MBA team, faculty, staff are here to work with you and keep in mind that in my experience, Commitment is the greatest predictor of success. One last thing that I would like to not before I hand it over to hand it over to drew, is that students who join our program are not just part of the Mason MBA program or the school of business.

They are part of the broader Z U ecosystem. So during your decision making process, I will encourage you to also look at the many resources for examples, for example, our various industry. Centers like the center for government contact government contracting the center of retail transformation, the business for better world, the center of innovation and entrepreneurship [00:08:00] to mention a few that GM can provide you access to.

So here we list, we have some, we list some of the application requirements, but I think this is a good point to open the floor for any questions, feel free to add any questions that you have in the Q and a section. And of course I will invite drew to share any unique perspectives and insights that he has about the program.

Hey, everybody, we apologize about the name, confusion. We had an issue with the zoom link. So apparently there’s two Giannis right now, even though I’m drew Edwards. Obviously if you’re here, you are considering George Mason for your graduate school studies. I love the program myself. I highly recommend. I looked at multiple schools when I was starting my graduate school research and George Mason’s name just kept popping up and it, it wound up being a very good fit for me, obviously.

Any questions anybody has? I’m happy to field them from [00:09:00] the standpoint of an active student. That’s I think doing pretty well on the program yet. Just let me know any questions I can answer for you. Happy to help. All righty. I do have questions here and anyone who’s currently in this zoom, please feel free to put your questions in the Q and a.

So let’s get started with some questions first off for you drew, what do you find this program to be doable while working a full-time or part-time job? Yes. Uh, absolutely. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have some challenges, but then again, this is graduate school. It’s not undergrad. So you, it is absolutely doable.

I’m working full time. I’m a business and data analyst for a pharmacy company. I actually was able to use. My current position in the MBA program to pivot from being a chef, which I’ve been a chef for quite a long time to being an analyst, but it is absolutely doable. My work, my work base starts at 5:00 AM, ends at 5:00 PM, [00:10:00] and I still have plenty of time on the weekends and the evenings to make sure that I get all my projects done, homework, readings studyings and stuff like that.

Absolutely doable. All righty. Another question just popped up there for professor za. Does the interdisciplinary MBA program provide the same material as the online program? Yeah, it. Both face to face online programs. Exactly the same material. When you graduate, your diploma will not mention online face to face.

You’ll be getting an MBA degree from George Mason university. So the programs academically speaking are in IRI. Identical. The only difference is one is a synchronous. The what other, the other one is face to face. So you have to go to class and so on, so forth, but yeah, there is no distinction when you graduate between online face to face.

And for the most part, the instructors who teach face to face are the instructors who have [00:11:00] developed the online content for the, the video content for the online program. Alrighty. Another question here, the student. Go started the program with a part-time track. Are they able to go to an accelerated track at any point of program here. You can go the accelerated track by taking more courses in. So let’s say drew, for example, drew correct me. If I’m wrong has been taking one course per module. One course let’s say per eight weeks, but you can easily take two courses per week and that will bring you closer to it could closer to the two year mark or being able to even finish the program in slightly less than two years.

Alrighty. And we got another question here in the Q and a does admissions make a difference if you have an undergraduate business degree from Mason? Yeah. If you have an advantage, you mean if you graduated from, uh, we, we treat the applications the same way regardless of where you [00:12:00] graduated, but we, when it comes to applications, we do look at the applications holistically.

So it’s not just about where you graduated, whether you graduated from the most, from. School in Virginia school, in Boston, in Massachusetts or whatever else. So we don’t look at a single element of the application. We look at the application holistically, and it’s not that we zeroing in. We focus exclusively on what you did when you were undergrad or did you get your undergraduate degree?

All righty. And the question for drew, how many hours do you set aside each week when doing your homework? Assign a good question. And it depends on the. The class, I have an undergraduate degree in business management. So a lot of the classes that I’ve had are the same, basically the same class, but just several layers higher.

And everybody’s going to take information differently. Some classes that are quantitative heavy, such as operations [00:13:00] management, statistics, manager, economics, if quant is not something that is a strong point, it’s probably gonna take a little bit longer if it is it’ll take less for me personally. Probably around, I’d say maybe eight hours.

There’s been a couple that I, that we’ll go over that, but I’d say the average for me is about eight hours per week. Alrighty, let that again, in my experience. And I’ve been teaching face to face online for many years now, in my experience, commitment is the greatest predictor of success. And my most successful students have been students who had no business background, my most successful students.

Again, that’s but my most successful students have been students with no business or engineering background. Alrighty. We do have a question about transfer credit. So for anyone that has another master’s degree, can they transfer credit credits that are relevant to the program? Yeah, [00:14:00] those go through me.

I’m the one who approves the waiver substitutions and so on and so forth. Yes, we do offer, we do look at prior work coursework and when, uh, when applicable we wave. All righty. So another question here, successful math and statistics class prior, any specific rec recommendation, and really go towards the degree requirements.

First of all. We do. We ideally we do want to have, we do want to students to have prior work prior coursework on either statistics or calculus or algebra. So we don’t, it’s not, we prefer statistics per se or calculus per se, or algebra. So we do want to see evidence, of course, prior coursework having said that students who enter the program, we have created.

We have a curated list of resources to help you refresh basic [00:15:00] math skills. So it’s, so it is unlikely that prior coursework will allow you to substitute, let’s say the MBA St. Statistics course, unless, unless that’s a course that you took very recently in a different master’s program and so on and so forth.

So that is one. But if you’re concerned about being ready, be prepared, quant, ready, keep in mind that we have curated a list of resources that we ask all incoming students to go through to. So they’re able to. They’re ready for the quant courses of the program. All righty. A question for drew and, uh, it actually looks like a question for both of you.

So group projects, drew, how was your experience with group projects and what can you guys tell a little bit about it’s? My experience has been. Very good and very lot of fun. If you’re not familiar with working in groups, you’ll be doing quite a lot of [00:16:00] group work throughout the program, which is fairly standard across MBA programs throughout the country is you’re expected to.

If you don’t already learn to work in diverse groups, work in teams, understand team and group dynamics, interdependencies, stuff like that. Certainly a lot of it, but it’s been very refreshing. You get to meet a lot of people. My last group, we had people from, I think, two different countries in it with four different distinct accents.

So it’s, it’s a lot of fun. It’s you get to learn a lot about people and yourself as well. And. In the come in the, uh, in the next couple of months, we will be also be putting together a tutorial with best practices around group work, because we do understand that group work is an important part of, you know, business in general and MBA program.

But specifically when you’re part of an, a synchronous online program, there may be some additional challenges. [00:17:00] We are very. We are sensitive to that as part of the curated, that curated list of resources that I mentioned earlier, we will also be putting together. The next batch of students will be admitted best practices.

Around group work, essentially, it’ll be like managing, managing a project, like best practice around project management. All righty. We do have a follow up question here. The student wants to know just clarifying besides synchronous and asynchronous being the difference between online and on campus. Is there any other difference, either admission criteria, tuition costs or professional development?

No, there is no other difference. Okay. The only, the other difference is. The opportunity to interact with your peers face to face or in a face prog, perhaps in a face-to-face program, you may have more opportunities to interact with your peer. You have more opportunities to interact with your peers face to face side.

So there is that networking element, everything [00:18:00] else, everything else is the same. But speaking of the net networking element, if you are local, if you. If you live in Northern Virginia, we do. Oftentimes when we have face to face, when we have events, when we host events for our face to face program, we do extend the invitation to our own online students.

So in what was it? The last spring we started the MBA spring seminar series, where we invited, we brought in C suite level speakers. To give presentations to face, to face MBA students. We also extended that invitation to our online students and the online students who were local came and attendant attended some of the events.

But other than. Everything else. Every everything is else is pretty much the same. Alrighty. Another question here. So we did see a video that, that shows that you do have animated lectures. Is that with every professor here at the MBA [00:19:00] program, or is there other prerecorded video lectures or any other type of that for courses, different styles the instructors bring different styles. We do have, but overall our instructors utilize. So one resource that many instructors that instructors have started recently utilizing is LinkedIn learning. When you join the, when you join as a GM student, you have free access to LinkedIn learning. They have some amazing video modules.

If you go through them, you can take continue. Ed also credits professional development credits and so on and so forth. So some instructors may not use, let’s say the avatar that I have created, but they will use other kind of video video lectures. And let me, I want to make that. Let me emphasize this. They’re optional. There are optional live sessions. Most of our instructors offer frequently [00:20:00] online, optional, online live sessions. You do have the opportunity if you go on. So to interact, live with your instructors. So being in an asynchronous online program does not mean that you have to. Yourselves things we have, we have created the, the structure online, the videos and everything.

But you do have access to the instructor as frequently as you would like to, or infrequently. Some people prefer because they’re traveling there different time zones. They prefer to rely exclusively on the videos as opposed to live session. Alrighty and drew all of you being here. Do you have any tips for students who are coming new to an online program?

Sure. One is time management. It’s very easy to, in an synchronous program to kind of detach because [00:21:00] you don’t necessarily have. In your mind, I’ve gotta be on campus at seven o’clock for class. And if any of you have had any large amount of time between finishing undergraduate or another master’s degree and working towards your MBA, it can be difficult.

Try to get back in the swing of things. First thing I would say is time management. That’s a big thing, but it’s one of those things that once you start practicing it, it’s not hard to do it all. Like I said, I, I work full time. I have plenty of time to do my studies and everything, and I’m doing quite well in the program.

The second is like Dr. Bellas mentioned being an asynchronous online program. One thing that is a trade off is that you’re not going to have the exposure to your peers and your classmates face to face. So my advice is be proactive with networking. LinkedIn, any potential, other social media resources, but it it’s what you bring to the table is what you’re also gonna take away from it.

So that’s [00:22:00] probably the two, two best things I would say. And if anybody’s experienced with the eight week modules, which is fairly common these days, try not to get behind because it can be very difficult to, to get caught up. But again, this goes back to time management. All right. Perfect. I, I totally agree.

The security is to keep sipping away. Every every week, there are eight weeks. So keep sipping away throughout, uh, uh, throughout the week. Alrighty. Do have another student asking, what is the average cost of the program and what does it cost for credit? There was another, there was another question on that.

I will put the link, as you mentioned in the Q and a, the, the total cost is close to 50 K in this area. And. Credit is 1000. So the link has the more up to date information. I don’t want to, it’s close to 1000. I don’t remember the, whether it’s 1100 or 1030 or something like that, [00:23:00] but I’m putting the link.

I’m putting the link in the chat, but the overall cost is close to 50 K for the whole, for the, for, for the whole program. All right. We do have another question here. So we recently just talked about the whole traveling for the residency course, but if a student can travel, is there any other online options for it?

Absolutely. I think this is what drew is doing currently. Can you talk to, can you speak to that drew? So currently you have two options, either a you can do the global residency, which some of my classmates and friends just returned from Dubai and had a wonderful trip. Unfortunately with me recently changing careers.

I didn’t, I don’t have the PTO built up for me to travel for a full week. So I’m taking international business strategy, which is a wonderful class. We look at, you know, the, the name is pretty much tells you what it is. You’re looking at business strategy from a more global perspective, operating in different countries, expanding in different countries, expanding in your own market and in different [00:24:00] countries at the same time.

That’s the other option that I’m taking and it is a wonderful class. Alrighty. Perfect. And so another question here for again is, so if a student has never taken a calculus course and they’re applying to the program, do you prefer to go for them to go to a local university or take it in an online program?

No, we, we don’t have a preference per se. I, again, we, and we, we do want you to, so we ideally, we want you to sow evidence of doing remedial work, right? You don’t have to go to a local university. You can show us other kind of evidence through online programs or, or so on and so forth that will help your, that will help your application.

We it’s not that we, we will put more weight if you do it in a local university or somewhere else, we just going to see evidence that you you’re committed in improving. Your quant background before you joined the [00:25:00] program. All righty. Another question just popped up here. So whom do we discuss the waiver of general business requirements and then also follows up with, are there network opportunities, preemptive or initiative actions to take prior to attending the program?

Okay. So regarding the, the waiver, this is something that after you. When you submit your application, this, you can send a note to one of the admissions advisors and then they will forward your application to me. And, uh, we will make that determination based on your transcript and so on. So forth networking opportunities.

We do have orientation session, a large orientation session before you. Before you join the, before you join the program, if it so happens that let’s say you get admitted for fall. Start [00:26:00] in, in August. In early August, we do immersion day for our face to face students. You’ll be more than welcome to join the immersion day for the first to face program.

Although you may have decided to, uh, to attend the online program. The answer to that is be in contact with us, be in touch with us and we will give you, we will connect you with the opportunities. All righty. Perfect. I do not have any other questions that are popping up here right now, but any last minute words, advice from both of you, nothing for me.

Yeah. It’s uh, it’s fun. The idea here, the one of the, and you may have gotten this hint through the, the videos that we created. The, the overall idea is that we work hard, but we also have lots of fun and we do have the best faculty teaching in the program. And. The faculty that [00:27:00] we have teaching in the program, they ask to teach in the program.

It’s not that they’re made, they have to teach in the program. They ask, they all want to be here because they’re going to learn from you. They’re going to interact with you. And I look forward to connecting with you. Even if you decide not to join the program and you’re going to learn more about, about GMU or any advice about career or business landscape, feel always free to be reaching out to me or to anyone from the school of business.

Alrighty. Well, thank you. Both of you for joining us today and everyone else who join us for our virtual open house today. Again, if you have any questions, just reach out to your missions representative. We’ll be here to help you out through every step of the way. And then hopefully we can start your MBA program here at George Mason university.

Thank you again, everyone. Everybody.

MS in Data Analytics Engineering Transcript

[00:00:00] Oh, right. Awesome. So I’m seeing everybody posting into the chat. So thank you for joining us. Ronnie, Michael Amal. Carlos VAHA and William, it’s nice to have you all in today. So at this point, we will go ahead and get started. I’d like to thank everyone again for joining us this afternoon. My name is Mariah, and I’m an admissions representative for the program.

I’m just here as a resource to give information, answer questions, and walk you through the application process. If it’s something that you decide to move forward. Just a quick overview of what we are going over today. We’re joined by our program, assistant director, Bernard Schmidt, who will tell us a little about himself and his role touch a bit on the program and our faculty and what the online format consists of.

There is a questions box that you guys have already had a chance to use. So feel free to, sorry, use that chat feature to ask questions during the duration of the open house, then we will address those towards. So let’s go [00:01:00] ahead and get started by hearing a little bit more from our assistant director, professor Schmidt.

Research Schmidt. Could you share a little about yourself? Sure. Thank you. So welcome everybody. Glad you could make it here today for the, uh, presentation on the virtual open house for our data online program, I’m actually a graduate of this program myself. I started back in the fall of 2013 when it was only a certificate and eventually graduated in the spring of 2017 and little did I know.

Just a few years later, I would be hired back into the program as the assistant director currently I’m actually the acting director as Dr. Baldo is on sabbatical for a year. Um, so that’s, uh, that’s been an interesting experience, uh, to, uh, basically cover my role as well as Dr. Baldos role. But I hope to, uh, be able to answer your questions to the best of my ability and, and look forward to you guys enrolling in the program for the fall.

Thank you for. [00:02:00] Professor Schmidt. So I know one of the biggest questions that we get when speaking with students is what can they expect from the online program? So of course we discuss this with them through admissions, but I think it is really powerful to hear from your end, what can students expect with this?

Master’s in data analytics, engineering in the online format. Okay. So yeah, we have two programs here at the university. We have our on campus program, our on ground program, which was the one I graduated from back in 2017. But then we last several years, we’ve now taken some of those courses and we’ve gone and turned them online from an online format.

Your courses are going to typically be. Taught asynchronously, meaning that you’ll go log into your Blackboard course, and you will work at your own pace throughout the week. Depend making sure you are paying attention to deliverables. Deliverables are oftentimes. In the middle of the week. So working students we’ll have to [00:03:00] make sure that they spend time each evening on the, uh, assignments that are being given in the various courses.

In our, this particular online program, we follow a seven and a half week format during two sessions each semester. So you can take one class during session one and one class during session two. And so you can knock off. Two classes every semester in this program. Now there’s gonna be some slides later on that talk about what those courses are, but basically the core program consists of five core courses, four of which are foundational that students will take first.

The last core courses are capstone course, and then students will choose from five elective courses from the online program. Now, in all fairness, the online program is not as, does not have as many courses as the on ground. Program, but we are adding additional courses year by year. And, uh, for example, we’re [00:04:00] expecting to add some natural language processing and machine learning courses in the coming years from our information sciences and technology department, who is converting their on campus courses into an online format.

Now I did mention that the typical co online course is asynchronous. Meaning you work at your own pace throughout the week. And the instructor is there basically to answer questions grade your assignments. The one exception to that is our capstone course, which is the last course you take in the semester.

That is where you are basically formed into team project teams and are assigned a project by one of our capstone partners from academia industry or go. And so these are real world projects that students work on. And because they’re real world projects, they take the entire semester to work on. So with the exception of our capstone course, students there will be working synchronously with the instructor each week.

Meaning you’ll meet with your instructor [00:05:00] once a week in the evenings, depending on what semester you are, whether it’s fall, spring or summer. And then you’ll work, meet with your project team members virtually through zoom meetings. Typically. Throughout the rest of the week as you work on the project through the end of the semester, another unique aspect of our capstone course is the fact that you are essentially acting as consultants to our industry partners.

And so you will meet with them once a week, as well, outside the classroom, to be able to basically present your progress to the partner, as well as use them, use that opportunity to ask them questions. That might be very specific to their particular domain. In other words, they’re they are the domain experts that you can turn to for those questions.

Good example is for example, the federal aviation administration, every semester we have about four or five, uh, organizations within the FAA that provide us [00:06:00] projects and each of them is in a different area. So they have a slightly different domain that they work on. And so our project teams work with them very closely to.

Understand the aspects of the FAA that they may not be versed in given that they don’t work there. Um, same holds true. For example, one of our government O other government partners, local government, Fairfax county, fire, and rescue. They have their own data analytics group within the, uh, The fire and rescue department, but they like to come out and provide, uh, give us projects because our students will oftentimes come up with unique and, uh, different viewpoints of the data that they might not have seen because they’re so close to it.

So, uh, so that’s the, that is our capstone course in the online program. It’s normally a seven and a half week asynchronous format with the exception of our capstone course, which is a full 15. Synchronous format. Now these are some questions that are typically asked every semester of folks interested in the [00:07:00] program.

So I’m going to try to give you some answers to. Rather than just some bullet points, I’m gonna start at the top and go clockwise around the questions there. So the first of which is why, what is the background of this program? And to understand that you have to understand this program is unique from other data science and data analytics programs in that its focuses on engineering.

Industry partner, capstones and collaborative engineering team approaches to problem solving. And that’s because that’s how the real world works. When you go get your job in industry or wherever it is you’re going to be, that is the environment you’re going to be in. And so our focus of this program is to make sure that our students are well versed to work in that environment.

The goal of data analytics is to make sense of basically massive amounts of data cold from every aspect of our lives. If you think about from shopping habits such. So when Netflix suggests a movie you might like, or Amazon suggests a book, you might like to health statistics, to crime trends, to weather patterns, to any number of applications [00:08:00] and to draw inference trends or conclusions from the data to boost efficiency, production, or profitability.

That is what industry is looking for us to do. Now, there were articles that. That are about eight years old now, but they’re still very cogent today. And for example, the Harvard business review called data science, the sexiest job in the 21st century and the New York times called data scientists, the magicians of the big data era Mason’s students.

When they go through this program will be the forefront of what some experts are calling the measurement re resolute, excuse me, measurement re excuse me, measurement revolution. Now, why was this program created? This program is created based on input we receive from industry partners. Companies are desperate because data analytics nowadays is so critical to being competitive, that they want to be able to apply the data they have and be nimbler and have more foresight.

They need these people right now, and it’s hard to get them because it requires training in a lot of areas. You know, this is a [00:09:00] multidisciplinary approach. Data engineering data science is not just a single. Academic area. It cuts across many academic areas. Okay. So it’s four or five different degrees that you have to pull together for that this program was created as a multidisciplinary program, drawing on courses from academic departments and the college of engineering and computing VO, L school of engineering and the school of computing to provide our students the breadth of knowledge.

They need to be successful after they graduate. Next question is why is there a need for this program in today’s society? Once again, program graduates are a blend of data, engineers, data architects, data scientists, and machine learning engineers. These roles are at high demand, across many industry domains and the program flexibility enables graduates to tailor their degree, knowledge to their current future career objectives.

You also have to consider the fact that cloud based analytic services offered by Amazon web services. Microsoft [00:10:00] Azure and Google cloud platform have become the norm within the industry. And today’s workforce needs to have familiarity and experience working in those environments and students when our program get to work in all those environments.

And last question is, are there any industry trends I could. I’ve been in this game for since 2013 and has changed quite a bit in that time. But if you go beyond traditional, descriptive and pro projective analytics of structured data based on traditional statistical methods, which is where the program was at.

When I was in the program, we see more and more analytics engineering projects centered on extracting information from an unstructured data such as text and images. So natural language processing and machine learning are becoming more and more prevalent in the industry today. Now, as I mentioned, our online program doesn’t have those courses, right?

This minute, we have some courses that dabble in that it’ll be another year or two before we have them in the program, but [00:11:00] they are the trend and we are making sure that those are available to our students in the program. Now, this is your typical course overview in the program. So it’s a total of 30 credits.

Each course is worth three credits each. So that’s 10 courses. During however many semesters, it takes you to complete the program. It’s 15 credits in the required core courses, as I was mentioning, and 15 credits in elective courses. Now in our core courses, you’ll notice one at the top called DN 500.

That’s our data analytics foundation course, that course is only required for students that are. Are provisionally accepted into their program, meaning that they have most but not older requirements needed to be successful in the program. So our program director, Dr. Baldo will provisionally myth them into the program.

And so they need to take that course first. And it’s basically a pass note credit course, but as long as you meet all the requirements for getting, getting at least [00:12:00] 80% of in all the assignments, That are in that particular course, students graduate with a pass and are allowed to then take the remainder of the core courses going forward.

When we look at the core courses, aside from data analytics project, which is da N six 90, we have four courses from our four main academic departments. There’s the AIT five 80 course big data to information, which is offered by our information sciences and technology depart. There’s stat five 15, which is applied statistics and visualization for analytics, which is offered by our statistics depart.

There’s or 5 31, which is analytics and decision analysis, which is offered by the systems engineering and operations research department. And finally, there’s CS 5 0 4 principles of data management and mining, which are, which is offered from our computer science department. And as I mentioned, D in six 90, that’s our data analytics project.

And that’s offered by the data analytics program itself. Now we do have a [00:13:00] subset of courses that are available through the, on ground program, but not everybody can make the on ground program, whether you’re located somewhere else, other than the Eastern seaboard or whether you are local, but for whatever reason, travel a lot and can’t attend on campus courses.

We do have some of the more popular courses that have been converted over into. Online format. And those are the electives you see on the right hand side, there, they are offered at various times during different semesters. And so one of the things you need to do when you join the pro, when you enroll in the program is you need to sit down with your success coach and you really need to lay out.

What’s called the plan of study. We have a rough idea of what course is gonna be offered over a two year, three year period. Of course, that’s always subject to change, but at least for the next year, we, those courses. The schedule of those courses is fairly well set. And so students can take that information and can lay out a plan of study.

So they can then pick the courses that are of interest to [00:14:00] them. And know when they’ll be offered during what, which semester in their plan of study. Um, one of the courses which. Is in there that I wanna also highlight as well, is the da N 6 98 independent research project. That once again is offered by our program and what that is.

If a student has a particular interest in a research area, what they would do is they would then go and, you know, team up with a faculty member. You’re George Mason, either one of your instructors you might have had in one of your other courses, Or another instructor who you’re communicating with that may be may not in the program.

And they would basically be your mentor. They would be assigned to the 6 98 course. And then you would then work with that instructor to come up with a research project. Students have to, of course, in addition to identifying the mentor they’ll be working with that will be assigned to that course for them.

Uh, they have to actually have short write up of what the research is and then that get. It has to be [00:15:00] approved by the department itself before students can take that course. That’s, you know, next slide then if you’ve never taken an online course before, it’s basically you access it through Blackboard here at the university.

And when you get in there, the courses are typically broken out into modules. In this case here, you’ll see a lot of times videos and assignments. And this is for example, a screenshot I took. Of our CS 5 0 4 course, which is developed by our director, Dr. Baldo. And so he has an introductory overview. He.

Where he presents the, uh, course and gives students an overview of what’s gonna be covered in the course, and then goes on later to have individual videos and assignments that students work on for the next seven half weeks. I can tell you that this course is a team based course, you, most students can’t don’t think that they can’t, you can’t do a team based program, a team based project in an asynchronous online course, but you [00:16:00] actually can.

In this case here, what would happen is your team is formed in that course. And then you work a synchronously or synchronously offline with your fellows, team members by zoom meetings or whatever approach you decide to get together. And you work on the project together. So that’s, that is normally that’s.

You only see that in the capstone course, but it, Dr. Waldos actually created a very good course that makes effective use of that particular approach for that course, CS 5 0 4, the next. Okay. One other thing that I wanted to, uh, share with you is we do actually have four full-time faculty in the data Alex program.

In addition to Dr. Baldo and myself, we have two other FA full-time faculty. There’s professor Brett Berlin, and then there’s professor Isaac gang. Isaac gang is, is a little bio from here from, uh, Dr. Gang with his background. He’s uh, he joined the program two years ago at the same time I did. And, uh, Dr. Gang is actually. Even though we’re all term [00:17:00] faculty, meaning we all teach as opposed to research faculty. Dr. Gang does have an interest in research and does have, does pursue some research interest. So a number of our students have reached out to him, especially when they want to do a 6 98 research project.

And he’s worked with them to, uh, to, to mentor them in those projects. But, uh, I, I don’t wanna repeat everything that’s, uh, in Dr. Gang’s biography, but you can, he. Comes to us with a high pedigree and he’s a wonderful colleague to work. We and students absolutely love working with him. Next slide. So at that point, I guess my portion of the, uh, presentation is done and I’ll turn it back over.

Great. Thank you so much for that doc professor Schmidt, before we get into the admissions requirements and the Q and a portion, if you guys do have any questions regarding next steps, as far as. Start dates, application, materials, deadlines, anything like that. Please reach out to your admissions representative. [00:18:00]

If you don’t know who your advisor is, I am going to post our main line and phone number, an email to the chat. So please drop, jot that down and give us a call. So we are always happy to assist in any way that we can, and we can address anything that you’re missing or questions as far as the application start dates, things like that.

Perfect. And then to the next slide. And then as far as those application requirements, as you can see here, there are a few prerequisite course requirements and just degree requirements for the program. So there is a requirement of having earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with the minimum of 3.0 GPA.

And those prerequisite courses include calculus statistics and computer programming. The committee is looking for ideally a beer hire in those courses as well. And as far as those application materials, the application includes our online application form with a [00:19:00] $75 application fee, your degree, bearing transcripts, an updated resume personal statement, and then two professional letters of recommendation.

There are additional supplemental application materials that your admissions representative. We can go over with you as well. If you are meeting certain requirements for completing the, but you do have to, if you do have any additional questions about the application materials, please drop those in the chat.

Or if we’re not able to get to them, definitely reach out to your admissions representative. All righty. So I’d really like to take advantage of the time that we have with professor Schmidt and address any specific questions to the program. I do have a few questions that students sent in, but I do see, we have two questions in the Q and a, so we can start with those and then move into the questions that I’ve already had.

So that first question is regarding the da N 500 course. And if it can be taken by non-degree student and if so, does that have to be in person, professor Schmidt? Okay. The, uh, as I mentioned before, the [00:20:00] da N 500 course is only available to our students. Provisionally admitted to this program. So it’s not taken by non-degree students and I’m not quite sure about what it means to be in person because it’s an asynchronous course.

So the student has to be involved in the course, but it’s not taught synchronously, meaning there’s no lecture or anything like that. Perfect. Thank you so much for clarifying that. And then another question came in regard. Those elective courses. So if there are any options outside of those listed, particularly if student was interested in taking a bioinformatics course or specific to that means tying it in with the data analytics degree, is that a possibility.

Unfortunately, not the online program and our on campus program are two completely separate programs with different modes of teaching. So if you’re enrolled in the online program, you can only take courses that are part of the online program. If you’re in the on ground program, you only take courses that are available in the, on [00:21:00] ground program.

Now we are trying to get additional courses online courses added to the online program, but we. Because our courses are offered by the various academic departments. We have to wait until the academic departments actually convert them over into an online format. For example, I had mentioned that information, science and technology.

They also have, uh, their own online program. And so they’re converting their natural language processing and machine learning courses into an online format. And the minute they do that, we’re gonna be able to offer them into our program. But if, for example, bioinformatics doesn’t have an online format that we can utilize then unfortunately we can’t offer that.

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. The few questions that I have here. Start off with those specific two online learning and the curriculum. So I know some students have a lot of fears with online education overall. So they always like to [00:22:00] know how faculty maintains communication with students, whether that be office hours or exactly how the classes are formatted.

If those lectures are prerecorded and posted, or is it more like assigned readings? It’s a little of everything, but an online course can have all or none of those sorts of things. It really depends on what’s being taught in that particular course. Typically an instructor that teaches an online course.

We’ll oftentimes offer up, you’ll find a, for example, like a getting started module and oftentimes they’ll have impromptu video that they record and post to that position right there. And then when you get into the modules themselves, sometimes they’re actually, depending on the course, they’re actually recorded lectures that the instructor is reusing from a prior period, or they could be specific assignments.

For example, there might be a project that students have to work. And so it really depends on the course and what’s being offered in the [00:23:00] module. Sometimes there’s even for example, YouTube videos, you might have to watch. It really just depends on what they create, what the instructor who created the course thought was relevant and cogent material.

To be able to get that knowledge into the student reading of textbook may also be a portion of that too. So from that perspective, it’s not much different than. You would have the same kinds of assignments potentially in a, on campus course, but with an on campus course, most of the material is obviously delivered by the instructor in a lecture format, which is your traditional learning methodology.

This is more of an act of learning situation where students go out on their own to learn the material based on what. Instructor has created for the course material itself. Other ways in which the instructor reaches out is, for example, you’ll find that most of these course online courses have a Q and a discussion board.[00:24:00]

So students can post questions to the Q and a, and then the instructor will respond back to them through that. You’ll also find, especially with these online courses, there may not be a actual fixed office hours, especially given the fact that you’ve got people from oftentimes different time zones that are taking the course.

What you’ll typically find is that the instructor will ad hoc an office hour with a student. If a student wants to meet with a Stu instructor via zoom meeting, they simply coordinated a time. And the instructor then can meet with that student in a face to face conversation using zoom or even oftentimes Microsoft teams.

So I, when I teach an online course, that is often what I do, cuz it’s more convenient for the instructor as well as for the student. Because there’s nothing. An instructor hates more than having a fixed office hour. Nobody shows up or having a student who wants to go to an office hour, but can attend because the time is inconvenient [00:25:00] going online.

The way we have a courtesy of COVID has actually been a benefit to students to be able to meet more regularly with instructors, face to face via these virtual session. Perfect. Thank you so much for sharing that. I know that alleviates a lot of worries that some students that I’ve spoken with myself personally have also had regarding the online format.

Another question that we get quite frequently is regarding the specific programming languages that a student should be familiar with coming into the program, and that they’re going to learn while they’re within the program as well. The two main programming language you’ll find that people are using when it comes to data analytics and data science are R and Python.

If you had some programming experience, which is a requirement for being accepted into the program, then it’s not that difficult to pick up both languages. For example. When I joined the program, I didn’t know our, I didn’t know, Python. Um, the R core, the R programming language is used, uh, typically when, [00:26:00] uh, courses are based out of the statistics department.

So for example, our step five, 15 course makes use of, um, art programming language, but R’s very easy to pick up. There’s lots of free resources out there. You can learn on your own through course, Sarah or edX to pick up the basic fundamentals of the programming language. For myself. What I did was before I entered the program and had to use our programming, I actually signed up for Johns Hopkins data science curriculum through Coursera.

They, and I basically took the first five modules in that particular program to, uh, get familiar with art. And that was all I really needed to get going with that for Python. I had a course where I was doing semantic web analysis. And so I had to do natural language processing for that, for a project in that particular course.

And I decided that Python was the better way to go, even though R had [00:27:00] libraries to be able to support that as well, packages to support that. So for me, it was not a big deal. I’ve been in this industry for well over almost 40 years now. And so for me to pick up a programming language is very easy and I wind up picking up Python.

In a matter of a weekend, um, going forward. So you don’t have to, you don’t have to know R or Python before doing the courses. Students are perfectly capable of picking it up as they go. But if you do wanna be prepared for your classes before you get started, then usually what I recommend to students is look for free resources out there through Corsa data camp at X, where you can take, yeah, you can learn those languages very easily for free Liz.

And there’s lots of other re free resources out there as well. So I hope that answered that question. Yes, definitely. I thank you for sharing that. Just to piggy back off of that answer. I know as students are looking for these resources, are there any [00:28:00] specifications, if they do include it within their application that you are looking for or anything in particular, whereas timeframe or how long the program was?

Can you rephrase that question again, please? Yeah. So if a student is taking like a computer programming Corsa course. And to meet that prerequisite requirement. How long does that course need to be in order to be acceptable? Or is there any sort of standard that you all have regarding that typically what Dr. Baldo looks for? Cuz he’s the person who admits people to the program. He’s looking for a semester undergraduate course in programming to start out with. But a lot of people, a lot of people. That join the online program are working professionals. And so they may actually have actual programming experience in, in their industry.

And so he looks to that, you know, so that’s, so there isn’t while the initial requirement is an undergraduate course in programming, which a lot of students have to take these days in their undergraduate programs. [00:29:00] He does look at potential experience elsewhere, especially if their job requires ’em to be programming.

Okay, thank you so much. And then as we are shifting towards those admission requirements, to have a question that came through the Q and a regarding if there is any sort of flexibility in that 3.0 GP requirement, and if can experience make for that that’s once again, that’s something that Dr. Baldo would make a decision on, but based on what I know, he does look at he, he doesn’t, he looks at the entire person, for example, If somebody just recently graduated for, with an undergraduate degree, he’s gonna place with very little job experience.

He’s gonna place the emphasis on the GPA. On the other hand, if he’s looking, if there’s somebody who’s been out of school for a number of years and they’ve been in the workforce and maybe they didn’t have a stellar GPA when they graduated, he’s gonna look, he’s gonna more heavily weigh towards what their [00:30:00] experience is to offset.

If they had a, if they didn’t have a 3.0 GPA, So I don’t, I can’t tell you that, you know it, I can’t tell you that it’s a hard, fast rule, but I’m also gonna say it’s not there. There is some flexibility and Dr. Baldo does look at the total person. Okay, awesome. Thank you so much for that. Another question came to the Q and a regarding any sort of link information you have showing like job or career placement for graduates after they’ve completed the program.

Mason, the George Mason university does have a career. Placement group and students that are interested in getting placed after the, as they graduate from the program would simply go to, to that, to line up interviews and such for various jobs. And do you have any sort of just anecdotal stories about students who have had found opportunities through the program and have ran with.

Yeah. Yeah. We have a few. [00:31:00] For example, I mentioned that our capstone course does work with industry partners and there have on there have been occasions where some of our in partners have gone and hired students. They work with from the capstone course, not a lot, but some, I know that one recently had, they haven’t hired our students yet, but this past spring, One of our new industry.

One of our new industry partners was Nestle USA. And so they have Nestle USA is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. And so they had a capstone project with our student team, went off very well. And a couple of weeks ago, I actually received an email from someone at Nestle that they are looking to hire data scientists, data engineers, and we’re looking to see.

If there were any graduates interested in doing that. So, yes, there, there are opportunities available, but the [00:32:00] main way students should look to offer, especially if you’re going to be outside the DC region, out of the district, Maryland and Virginia region. A lot of students, we have, I see her out of the, I see Hampton, Virginia.

I see Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the career services group with at George Mason can help you find opportunities in regions, outside this region as well. So that would be your first course of action for there. Typically the types of people that reach out to us directly are regional based companies and organization.

Oh, by the way, the another company, I was the FAA. Recently also said they were hiring. And so they were looking for potential graduates to apply to the . Now, in that instance, they were looking for us citizens because it’s a federal agency. Okay, perfect. And then, sorry to go back and forth. But [00:33:00] another question that came up is regard.

The other prerequisite. So I know that they do, the committee will look at, like you said, holistically applicants, but if they are missing any of those other prereqs, whether it be calculus, is there any specific place that the committee is looking for? Whether that be like a community college should take those courses if they don’t have already have them in their undergrad.

Yeah. That, that is certainly an option for them to take. And usually the one we recommend community college. Are less expensive. They offer the same courses. Um, you can get three semesters of calculus at a community college. You can get a semester of statistics at a community college. So if you happen to have a community college nearby, then yes, that’s certainly one way of one way of meeting that requirement.

If your undergraduate program didn’t have those courses. Okay, perfect. But I can, but I can tell. Those are those two are hard and fast requirements is the one semester of calculus and the one semester of [00:34:00] statistics. Okay. And then I’m not sure if the students within the webinar now. No, but of course we do also offer our data analytics certificate program.

Can you take some time to explain to our attendees the difference between the two programs and then the type of students that you may recommend for the certificate based versus the master’s program? Yeah, any sort of certificate program you get in a graduate level is essentially intended for working professionals who are looking to show mastery in a particular area for their employers, either because they’re looking to get to move into a new position, or maybe they’re looking for additional responsibilities and they don’t wanna necessarily get an entire degree.

The data analytics engineering certificate program is basically where students will take AIT five 80 CS, 5 0 4 or 5 31 and staff five 15 though. They’ll they complete those four core [00:35:00] courses. And if they’re in their certificate program, they basically get noted on their transcript that they’ve completed that graduate certificate.

And then typically, like I said, those are working professionals who are trying to. Either get move into another position within their company or to get additional responsibility in their current position by demonstrating mastery found foundational mastery of those in those, in that particular area.

Okay. Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that with our attendees. I don’t have, oh, actually another question just came in unless we do have a question regarding. The cost of the graduate online program versus the online certificate program. That’s definitely a question that you’d wanna direct towards your admission representative, but I can answer that it’s very simple.

It’s simple. The full online degree program is 10 courses. The certificate program is four courses, so it you’re [00:36:00] paying for four courses versus paying for 10 courses. So that’s the difference. They’re both online. There’s the online master’s program and there’s online certificate program. The only difference is how many courses you take in each program.

Okay. Awesome. And then if you have any specifics, as far as that investment per credit admissions representative is the one you want to reach out regarding that, and they can give a little more details. Awesome. So I’m going to send in, I’m sending in that number and email right now where you all can.

Reach your admissions representative. And at this point we don’t have any other questions that came in. So if this, the final call for any additional questions that you all may have, that we can address. Um, yes. So I see here that a question came in regarding the recording. So these slides and the recording, it’s all, it’s going to be posted and sent out to you all within the next, uh, day or so.

So you should be getting that to review. and then if you have any other high level questions, again, reach [00:37:00] out to the admissions representative. And I just went ahead and sent that information here into the chat. Awesome. So it was really nice talking and sharing a little bit more about our online masters of science and data analytics engineering program with you all.

I sent all that information. So reach out to your missions representative if you have any other questions, but at this point I will give you guys some time back. It was nice. To hear from you again, professor Schmidt and you’ll have a good afternoon.

MS Applied Information Technology Transcript

JANESSA: Hello, everyone. Good afternoon. Welcome to our virtual open house for the online Master’s of Science in Applied Information Technology program here at Mason. We are very excited to get started in just a few moments. I want to give everyone some time to just get logged in and get situated. So while we’re waiting, if you guys wouldn’t mind, just go ahead and start practicing utilizing the chat box that’s in front of you.

Let me know that you’re able to hear me clearly. You can start by giving your first name, where you’re joining us from, and, since it’s lunchtime, say maybe what you are enjoying for your lunch. We’ll go– oh, excuse me. We’ll go ahead and get started around 12:05, as individuals continue to trickle in. So go ahead and let us know what you are eating, and where you’re joining us from, and we’ll get started in just a few moments.

OK. Perfect. I see some responses coming through. I’m glad you guys are able to hear me. We have some individuals from Virginia sipping on coffee for lunch. Definitely been there before, Lizette, definitely have been there.

All right, everyone. And today is St. Patrick’s Day. Is everyone wearing their green?

All right. Thanks, everyone, again, for joining us. Really, really appreciate it. As I said, I want to give everyone just a few moments. I know it’s during lunch time, so I to make sure that everyone’s able to get situated, as we are ready to move forward. But this is going to be our webinar for the Masters of Science in Health Informatics– I apologize, Masters of Science in Applied Information Technology program here at Mason.

We have some of our faculty joining us today. So really excited to get started. It looks like we still have just a few people. I’m going to go ahead and just start to take care of some housekeeping items as we’re moving forward. So, again, thank you, everyone, for joining us this afternoon. We are excited to get started.

My name is Janessa. I’m an admissions representative here for the program, here as a resource to give information, answer questions, and walk through the application process, if it’s something you decide to move forward with. I am joined this afternoon with our Program Director, Dr. Rytikova. And we will meet her in just a moment. But we are excited to have everyone here today to learn about the program. Again, before we jump into it, just a few housekeeping items that I want to take care of.

We were utilizing the chat function earlier. You should have that box on your screen, as well as a question-and-answer box. So feel free, during the duration of the open house, to ask questions utilizing either of them. I will keep an eye on both. But keep in mind, we will have some time planned at the end of our open house to address those questions specifically. So I’ll keep an eye on both of them. We may address them as they come up. But a lot of them will be saved towards the end of the presentation.

Please be mindful, also, who you are sending messages to. So you should have a little toggle option between just sending them to the panelists and the host, but also sending them to everyone. So just keep that in mind as you’re continuing to toggle between. But without further ado, let’s go ahead and get started by meeting some of our faculty.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Thank you very much for a wonderful introduction. Will you provide PowerPoint slides, or should I get them?

JANESSA: Are you able to see that PowerPoint now?


JANESSA: Oh. OK. Let’s see.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Thank you so much.

JANESSA: Yes. My apologies.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Very good. No, no, no, no. That’s fine. I just wasn’t sure who goes where. Well, good afternoon, everyone. It’s so exciting to have students in this, well, virtual room. I wish I could see everyone in person. And that’s what I really miss. We’ve been teaching online quite successfully due to– well, as you know, due to COVID. And we’re experts on online education, as I will talk about in just a moment.

But still, this is something that I really miss today. I don’t see students. I don’t hear them often. And though we try to create this engaging environment where students are open to raise their questions, and to turn on their mics and their cameras, but we still understand that this is not– in our days, it’s a bit challenging. We understand that. But still, that’s something that makes me very excited to be with students to answer questions.

If you want to interrupt me at any moment, please do so. As you will see in just a few seconds, I will get so excited about our program, because I am excited. I always get excited to talk about our achievements, about our amazing, incredible faculty, about courses we have to offer, that sometimes I get carried away. If it happens, please feel free to ask specific questions about the program or what you want to know about. It will help me slightly to guide this discussion even better.

We have one hour. But since I do a lot of education– a lot of research, and innovative teaching, and learning, it’s a well-known fact that if people listen for a long time, and in our days, I don’t know exactly what it is, whether it’s 20 minutes or two minutes, it depends.

But I don’t like giving long lectures. Still I have to– I’m kind of required to talk about our program, and I will do so. But if you want to ask questions, please do so, and feel free to interrupt me. I know that’s unusual, but it’s a bit difficult for me to both at the same time to answer questions and to continue my lecture. So if you have something to say, just say so. Raise your hand, and then I will stop the lecture, and I will answer your questions. Don’t wait for me until the very end.

All right. Well, what I always forget to do is to introduce myself. My name is Dr. Rytikova. I am the Associate Chair for graduate studies. And this is probably the reason why I’m giving this. And also Director for online MS AIT program. This is the reason why I’m giving this presentation. I’m also full-time professor in the department. And what I just realized when I received a little thank you note from the university, I realized that I’ve been here for over 15 years. And I pretty much know probably all the answers either students or faculty might have about our program.

I was one of the faculty who were involved when this program was just originally formed. It was about almost 10 years ago. Then about five years ago, I became the Associate Chair, and we modified the program quite significantly. Now, the program is more technical. It used to be more on the management, leadership, and technology side. Now, it’s a bit more technical, though we still provide pathways for students to get through the program, even if they don’t have a strong background in IT, or computer science, or any technical field. We have special courses to help out with that.

If we could move on to the next slide, please. Thank you. All right. Well– well, I know that’s probably too much. But still, as an indicator, and the person who is really passionate about our department, I wanted to mention that it’s not just an AIT program that we have to offer. We also offer a PhD program. We also offer certificates. And we also currently are offering a new M.S. program, M.S. in Information Systems, which we’ll start advertising quite widely next year or so.

But if anybody is interested in any extra courses, any extra program to pursue, then we have this to offer. The main program is M.S. AIT. We’ve been quite successful in attracting students to our program because the areas that we cover are probably the most interesting hot topics today on the IT market. Next slide, please.

If– it’s just, this is a very long slide to read through. We can review that. But the main idea is that our department created a Master’s– well, first of all, the department created this program because it was an urge from industry. We were approached by government agencies who asked, are you– are you capable or able to teach just a few classes? And back then, it was about cybersecurity, about big data, which was just the beginning of that era of data science that we see today.

And our department responded, yes, we have resources. We have faculty who conduct research in these fields. We’ll be happy to help. After a couple of courses, they asked about a more advanced level of courses. And we ended up with a series of courses for a certificate for the government agencies’ employees. And then, after that, they came back to us and said they were so excited about what we’ve done, but they were wondering if we can provide even the entire Master’s program.

We– it’s not just our department who put this program together, but we worked with academic leaders, academic leaders with industry leaders, to bring the best that exist on the market today in the area, and the field of IT, and, particularly, applied IT. Five years ago, the program was modified to make it even stronger. We enhanced the program. We added some interesting new concentrations, because, as you know, IT changes drastically.

We added a few concentrations in addition to the cybersecurity concentration that we already had. We also added a concentration, for instance, for human– computer-human interaction. We improved the IT management concentration. We came up with the data analytics intelligence concentration. And we keep growing. We keep adding concentrations as we speak.

Well, before I continue, I know that my focus should be very– my focus should be on the online program only, or online side of our program. But I wanted to mention that our department– the department is an expert in online education. I must say this because, in the past two years, like everyone else, we suddenly started teaching online. We started teaching online 10 years ago. Our department created– was the first department in the school– in the school and in the university, that developed the entire program online.

What I like about that story is, this is how the director for Online Education in our college puts it, Professor Garrison. He says that the IST department not only developed these programs online, but they established the best practices procedures that are now used by the entire university, which speaks very highly about our department. And I’m proud to say that, because we are experts in what we do online.

Currently, we’re offering two concentrations. It’s the cybersecurity concentration, and the data analytics intelligence methods concentration, online entirely. In addition to that, we’ll offer a new concentration in fall, that’s IT management. We also added a new concentration, the machine learning concentration, in fall for the on-ground program, which will be converted to an online program at some point, too.

What’s good about our program that we offer both, online courses and the entire MS AIT program can be completed online. We also offer this program on campus. If anybody at some point decides that they want to be– to work on campus, that’s possible, too. And we also offer a combination, it’s online and the on-ground program, but this is done through a different office. Today, I am only discussing the online offerings of our department. So we’ll focus on just what we have to offer online. Next slide, please.

What’s important about our program is that it is a great program. There is no questions about it. It’s not just because I say so, because I love our program so much. But, more importantly, because we’ve been ranked quite highly in many different variety of rankings in the last, I would say, three or four years. That was the time when we modified the program. And because of that, I believe we are moving forward towards higher rankings in many different types of rankings.

So the reason, I guess, why we are we’re ranked quite highly by both different agencies and by our students, is because, not only we provide a great curriculum. In addition to that, we are a very dynamic department, which means that we modify the curriculum as we go. I teaching just every day, literally every day. What we teach students today might not be very relevant maybe next year. But, still, even if it’s a new tool or a new idea, but what we do we build a great foundation for students who are interested in this great field of IT realm.

And if you decide to pursue any field, any area, later on related to IT, you will be prepared to do it so well. That’s why the program is quite– being ranked quite highly. In addition to that, we add new courses, as I mentioned, every semester. We are very lucky, because we actively hire new faculty. We are growing. We are– I don’t know if I’m complaining or bragging, but it’s good to grow. It’s good to have more students.

But in addition– but at the same time, we have to provide more classes. We have to schedule more sections, which, again, we’ll like. But because of that, we are also hiring new faculty, which is fantastic for any department, because they bring new research, new knowledge. And they bring this, not only to our department, but also they work on that with their students in their classes.

Every time when we– for instance, this year, we’re hiring 10 new faculty. And this means that every time a new faculty comes, he or she will develop a new course. Most of the faculty, they work in top areas of IT. Again, so the most interesting courses and areas that students might think about, we try to offer it. And we start offering courses right away. Pretty much every semester, every year, we have about two, three, new courses, which is a lot.

In addition to that, we provide a lot of support for students. Before I get that– in addition to that, we also have top faculty who work in– who are very established researchers working in top areas of IT, including cybersecurity. Our faculty, cybersecurity faculty, are affiliated with one of the most successful, I would say, the most famous, research centers in cybersecurity. You can also check it online. And this faculty is a faculty, their work on cutting-edge research and cybersecurity, bring it to our classes, to our students.

We also provide research opportunities for our students. And in addition to that, we also provide, for cybersecurity particularly, students, we provide one of the top internships in the country through the Department of Defense. And that’s a great way to get paid for the entire Master’s program, to have a secure job afterwards.

Students are– it is a very selective program. But, still, we are a department, we’ve been very successful, because in the past few years, we were getting those scholarships. Well, the way it works, you first get all students portfolios, then we work on that. We submit this to DoD. We provide our recommendations for students and then DoD selects students for their scholarships.

But since we’ve done such a great job in the past, we are well supported through this program. And we usually get quite a few students every year supported through this internship. And it’s a fully paid everything. Everything, the tuition, the books, and laptop, and everything you can think of, will be paid by that. So, again, we have great researchers working in our department. And they bring their knowledge and expertise to our classes. Next slide, please.

Well, I mentioned already that we cover quite a few areas, top areas, in IT. But as you probably checked the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and you know that this particular area is expected to grow faster than pretty much any other occupation, on average. We have quite a few areas where our IT graduates find their jobs. But it’s much, much, much more than what you see on the screen.

And the reason why is because the IT field itself is very dynamic. It’s fluid. And you can see lots of new titles. I check jobs quite often, every semester or so, because I want to make sure that we are consistent with the industry. We develop new programs, again, for instance, we just created– not created, but we modified, the existing MS INFS, Information Systems program. We added quite a few concentrations in cloud computing, for instance, cloud software engineering.

We just added another concentration, machine learning engineering. This is not applicable to this particular, maybe, field, yet. But still, since for the online program, we already have two, and one more concentration is coming in fall, three different concentrations. So this is just a small subset of titles that you can see as your future career. Next slide, please.

Scholarships. OK. I talked about scholarships. In addition, to, again, DoD is something that I’m really proud of, because this scholarship is difficult to get for any university. But because we have a very strong research center in cybersecurity, we have established researchers working in cybersecurity. And, in the past, we’ve been doing– we’ve been providing very strong students in cybersecurity for this program, we are quite supported. We also have university scholarships for students, which you can check about through our Admissions Office.

In addition to that, we have industry-sponsored awards. Not that many, I will be honest. It’s not just like every semester a bunch of those. No, it’s quite a few, but not very often. But we also provide GTA and GRA assistantships to students who are interested in. These are very competitive too. But if a student is willing to take extra work, and work extra time, then it is possible. Just the last semester, I hired, for instance, for my classes, one of the students in this program. And she is probably one of the top students that I’ve ever seen for a long, long time. She was absolutely amazing. But still, we do have some opportunities to help students, if needed. Next slide, please.

All right. You can find a lot of information about it at our department, but– at our website. But I have to warn you. Please do not check our website yet. It is available, it is out there. But we are updating the website. And we’ve done such a great job. It took us about a year to modify it and present it in a new format, because it required some updates. It will be updated very soon. So you can get there and check it out, but don’t pay attention to how it looks right now, because we will update it very soon. Next slide, please.

All right. Well, as I mentioned earlier, for both concentrations, for any concentration in our department, students need to complete 30 credit hours, which means STEM courses. Usually students complete– not usually, but students complete four core courses. They are the same courses for all students, at the moment, for all concentrations. And then they complete six courses for their concentration. Out of those six, four courses will be required, and two courses are electives.

We have such a large variety for elective courses. You can look through that. And what I like about our program, again, it doesn’t matter which consultation you decide to choose. No matter where you go, you will still have an opportunity to check out some other areas, some other courses. Because, as you know, currently all the fields are interconnected very closely. And some students come to me and say, I’m in cybersecurity, but I really want to see big data courses, and so forth. So we could look into that and decide– well, we can look at what’s available out there for their electives. Next slide, please.

Well, we do have, even though I mentioned, we offered– we also offer this program on campus. But we are offering this particular program online for these two concentrations. We use Blackboard, as some of you probably already know about. And we run classes fall, spring, and summer. In summer, the schedule is a little tough, because it’s two courses per semester. And some students say it’s a lot of work. If you work full time, if you have a family, especially then, it’s a very large workload. That’s why we recommend students to carefully select the courses they’re taking.

Some courses might be a bit more difficult than others. In that case, I would suggest you to, if you have some concerns, I would suggest to discuss it with your advisors. And though it is coming in just a moment. But we have outstanding advisors, which I will discuss in just a second.

But before we move on, I really wanted to say that we incorporate lots of Active Learning teaching techniques in our classes. Because we have multiple faculty members who are Outstanding Teaching Award recipients, we also have faculty who received an Outstanding Teaching Award for online teaching specifically. And these awards are at the university level.

They’re very difficult, very difficult to receive. And it is a great achievement, one of the greatest achievements that a faculty member can receive. We have more than one in our department, we are very proud to say that. Which means that, when you take our online classes, even though it’s online classes, in class it’s much easier of course because you work with students– right next to students, and you can implement so much there. I do a lot of research on Active Learning. But even in online education, online classes, we make sure that our classes are engaging, our classes are interesting, and students can collaborate with other students. Students can work with a professor.

We also have– another point that I’m very proud of. We have GTAs, or teaching assistants, which is such a difference for students. Because if you have any questions, that’s what I tell my students in my classes, I always say sent am email to both me and the GTA, and we will respond in literally no time. We respond in less than 24 hours. For me, that’s usually within the first one or two hours, at most. But that’s how most faculty work.

We provide additional– we always hold office hours for our students. Even though, again, these class is online and students are not required to attend what’s called synchronous class meetings, nevertheless, I, for instance, in my classes, as well as many of my faculty colleagues, we offer what’s called optional class meetings. We record these class meetings. We post that for our students who could not attend them, because not everybody is available at a particular time. But still, these are the times when students can meet with the professor, in addition to lots of materials that we provide online that students can study themselves.

But you have interactions with professors, interaction with GTAs. GTAs also hold office hours. It’s online, but in our days, again, online is very easy. We are used to this now after two years. And I find it to be sometimes a bit more convenient because you don’t have to be on campus. You don’t have to plan ahead of time. Students could send an email saying, well, I’m available later on, can we please talk about this? And that, absolutely, yes. So, again, our online classes are doing quite well. And we received very good evaluations for the program itself and from– for our specific classes that we offer. And next slide, please.

Do we have anything else?

JANESSA: It should be our faculty advising.



I can see it right now, because I thought it was one more slide about our advisors. Well, easy case. That’s good. That’s good. Faculty advising is, yes, our faculty– well, about advising. It works differently in different programs. In our program, a student is assigned to an advisor, which– an academic advisor, which I will discuss in just a moment. In addition to that, and we have more than one. It’s not just like one advisor. I’ve heard stories, one advisor has hundreds of students, or thousands of students.

Though we are a very large department, still, our students are advised to multiple advisors. And they can contact any of these advisors. Because our advisors, they share the workload, they support them. But in addition to that, you can also– students also contact their faculty for advising. Any question you might have, our faculty can advise on the curriculum questions. But, more importantly, they might guide you regarding your future career choice. And that’s something that I always encourage students to do, or if you’re interested in the PhD program, consider contacting our faculty, consider discussing questions with them, and to see if a particular field of study is something you’re interested in or want to pursue. Next slide is–

The next slide is probably, yes, is about our amazing academic advisors. We have academic advisors that work with students on the curriculum. It’s Laura and Lisa. In addition to that, we also have advisors that work with students on their admissions. I don’t have all the names, unfortunately. But if you have any questions, that we can certainly help on that. But every time, when you submit your question regarding your admissions, then this goes to our advisors, and they will also help you with any questions you might have.

The reason why I’m happy to present this slide always is because we truly have outstanding advisors. I’m not just trying to make them feel good. They are not here right now, so they can’t even hear me. But they are absolutely incredible. You can send them an email anytime, any day. You will get the response within less than one day, immediately. Usually one or two hours, a couple of hours, maybe.

Because they meet with students every day, they might not be able to answer right away. But they respond within a day or so. They know everything. They are they still on top of all the changes because it changes the requirements of the university degree requirements might change. They stay on top of everything we do. They have all the answers. And if there is any questions that you– any issue that you’re encountering, then you can always contact them, and discuss with them any concern, or question, or issue that you have.

If you have problems in class, if you want to take more classes, which we don’t recommend, because it’s very difficult. But, still, if you’re not sure what to do next, if you cannot get into a class, if you have– I’ve never heard about any issues with our professors, never, in 15 years. But if anything happens, and you have a concern, they are the people that the people that have all the answers, they know where to go. If you have any forms, also. If there is a problem with– sometimes you need to use– to submit some forms, then they will guide you through these forms. They will help you submit.

So anything you have in mind, they will be happy to answer your questions. If you want to contact them right now and maybe ask some questions in addition to what we are discussing today, you can contact them at It’s on the screen. You can also go to our online scheduling tool and our website, and use this tool to schedule an appointment. You don’t have to be a MS AIT student. You can say that, I’m a prospective student, I’d like to meet with you to discuss some questions. And you can do so. And I believe that’s it.

If we can look at the last slide, maybe. Yes. And that’s what I was talking about, that– earlier, that, in addition to our advisors, the university provides a lot of support. And it’s great to see when students are interested in certain questions, they can always go there and check. They can ask about other programs, other units, about opportunities for students. I didn’t put here– actually. Yes. That’s my mistake.

I didn’t put here Career Services. Outstanding place. Oh, my goodness. They’re so good. But next time, I will definitely update that. And that’s– yeah. That’s probably– yes. So thank you so much. So this is– yeah. That’s the reason I didn’t put it up there, is because we have this great slide, which you probably cannot read because it’s too much. I understand that. But, still, if these slides can be maybe shared, or if you want to take a screenshot, or picture, it will be fine, too.

Well, that’s all I have for today. It took me a bit longer than I thought. But, still, now I am ready to answer questions. I see there is a chat, or let me say, there is something. Application deadline. Great question. Do we have an answer for this question?

JANESSA: For the fall semester, I don’t think the fall deadline has been set at this time. Usually, I give students about a month before the start of classes in which you can start expecting that. Classes for fall are going to begin August 22nd this year. So I’d say, get in your application before the end of July would probably be a good turnaround time for you, as far as deadlines.

And then we did have some, actually, submitted via email before. So I want to go ahead and run through those maybe as students are still kind of thinking of some. But we have a lot of fears. And I know you touched on communication from faculty. So a lot of students have some fears of how faculty maintains communication. Is there an opportunity to still network with them? Are there specific office hours? Or is it mostly going to be through email communication?

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Oh, yes. Of course. Very good question. First of all, we communicate a lot. Well, I can say our department is very active. We– because that’s what– again, I guess all professors aren’t the same. But we are the department that communicates and works with students a lot. We communicate. Faculty contacts students. For instance, in my classes, when I teach these particular online classes, well, some students even mentioned that, well, it’s great. But you could send actually fewer emails to us.

Because I send emails, literally, I’m not exaggerating, every day, especially in the beginning. That’s every day, announcements, or emails. Then closer to the end of the semester, it’s reduced to just a few– just, to a few times a week. But still, my collaboration with students, but a few, still it means at least four or five times a week. So I do not contact students on weekends. I try to be understanding. But, anyway, so that’s number one.

Number two, that the GT also contacts students regularly. Number three, we have– it depends on a professor. Some professors have– they set up dates, specific dates and time, day and time when they meet with students. Let’s say, Monday, 6 to 7. But, I, for instance, work with students by appointment. So I am pretty much open to any time, any day. We can always because, as far as I understand, or that’s what my experience says. Students in graduate program are– they usually work quite often. And I don’t want to impose a certain time, 12 to 1 only, if students are not available.

And I’ve done this in the past. I try to do this, but nobody would show up. So I would sit there lonely doing nothing. I didn’t like that. That’s why I changed it to by appointment. And students can contact me any time. What I will also do, I encourage students to contact me via email as often as possible. I still feel that students don’t take an advantage of that enough. That’s my personal belief. Because, if I receive– if I don’t receive at least one email per day from a particular class, I would be surprised. But sometimes it happens.

But in addition to what we professors do, we also have GTAs. They respond. And they’re wonderful. We train GTAs. It’s not like it’s a student who doesn’t know exactly what he or she is doing. We– it’s very difficult to get a GTA position. Very difficult. It’s quite challenging. That’s why, when we select a GTA, we know that they know they have to work hard. And otherwise they will not get this position again. So our GTAs are incredible. And you can always get in touch with them, too. So I don’t know if I answered the question, but communication is constant. And I have never seen any complaints about the professor who would not be in touch with students all the time.

Would you like me to read questions? Or you have questions?

JANESSA: You can go ahead and answer the ones–


JANESSA: That are in the chat, and then we’ll do the emailed ones.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: OK. The fees, that’s not for me. I don’t know, unfortunately.

JANESSA: I don’t have them memorized off the top of my head. But what I would suggest is reach out to your admissions representative. If you don’t have one, one will reach out to you after the open house some time at the end of this week, or early next. And we’ll be able to get you a detail of all of the fees that are going to be included, the base tuition, additional fees, that you can have an idea of what your options are as far as funding. And then there is another one if you want to go ahead and read that one.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Oh, yes. This is a great question. I forgot to go over that. But next time, we will need to add it to the presentation. So let’s remember this. But this is a perfect question to ask. The way this program I promise I answer your question. But I would like to give a bit more information about it.

When, originally, this program was designed, the program was very successful. But when it got– again, when it got new faculty, and when we looked at what we are trying to achieve as a department, we felt it’s important to modify this program, and to add more– a little bit more technical courses to the program. But, still, we kept a lot of courses that were less technical, even, for instance, IT management.

IT management concentration is still available in our program, though that was one of the original concentrations that we had in the original program. And since we knew that our program brings lots of students who are not only– who don’t necessarily have a very strong IT background, or strong technical background, we wanted to keep our doors open to all students, because we have experience working with students with a non-IT background. And we wanted to continue that.

Because of that, we added one more so-called prep course. That course is taken in addition to the ten courses required to complete this program. And this prep course– well, what it does, it prepares students to be successful in the graduate program, which means that some students– and the way it works, some students might start the program and say, oof, well, I feel that it’s just– ooh, it’s tough.

We– in that case, we will just recommend to add that additional course. But what happens most of the time, the review committee– so we have the admissions committee for this program. That’s how it usually works in most departments. The admissions committee reviews each portfolio. And if the student doesn’t have a lot of, again, IT background, or no IT background at all, or there is– well, or just– or no experience in IT, because sometimes students don’t have necessarily an IT degree, but if they are very successful in their current jobs, and they’ve been doing their jobs for quite some time, then we could consider admitting them as any other student.

But if we feel– the committee feels it’s not enough, then the committee will admit the students provisionally. Don’t be scared of that word. It doesn’t mean– it’s not that scary. What it simply means that the student will take one additional course. And we also ask the students to complete two core courses, the first courses they take in the program, at the B level. They have to receive a B.

But since, in the graduate program, you probably– I don’t know if you know this or not, there is a big difference between undergraduate and graduate program in terms of grades. In graduate programs, students– the majority of students, since we work with mature students, and they are really interested in these programs, we have mostly the students who receive As and Bs. It’s very rare that the student receives a C.

And it’s also– again, students can’t really receive a lot of Cs in the graduate program, otherwise they will not be able to graduate. The requirement is the student can get, at most, two Cs, which is not recommended, because it’s already not a very good sign for a graduate program. For a graduate student, that means the graduate student is not keeping up with the program if it’s two C or more.

But the student can still get two Cs and graduate, if the GPA is 3 or above. This– that’s why the requirements, provisional requirements, they’re not very tough to complete. That’s pretty much the requirements for all other students in any graduate program that we offer. I hope I answered this question. That was a very good question. Pat, did I answer?

JANESSA: Can respond, I think, in the chat, Pat, to see if that was sufficient.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Oh, yes. Thank you.

JANESSA: Perfect. And then, kind of on the same line, we actually have some questions that were emailed in about what faculty is looking for when they’re looking at applicants. So is this a good program for students who are coming directly out of their undergrad? Or do we see a lot of individuals with some work experience in the field?

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: It doesn’t matter. Great question. What matters to us, that the student is eager to work. Because this program will require students to work. We have some challenging classes, as any graduate program is expected to be. We have loads of students who just graduated from– received their BS degree. We have a lot of students who have already received– have some experience, work experience, and they want to advance their career. They come to us. We also see students who are– well, they’d be a little bit– so who completed their degree some time ago, and they want to switch their career. So that’s– all these students are in our classes.

JANESSA: Wonderful. I know that’s a big concern for a lot of people, if they don’t have any work experience. So it’s good to know they won’t be alone if they’re coming directly from undergrad. Some other ones, any recommendations for students? I know there are some nerves around individuals who may have graduated a few years ago, their GPA isn’t the highest. Might be right there on the border. Is there any suggestions for those potential students? Maybe taking some classes, some work experience, anything like that?

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Well, it always helps to get maybe some programming experience a little bit. And it doesn’t have to be real advanced, but that will help, certainly. Even if you never had any programming experience at all, then I would suggest an introductory course. And there are loads of open courses right now open for free. So you can check it out on Coursera, or anything else. You can do that. If you have some specific concerns, you can contact me, and I will be happy to discuss with you.

Students are very, very different. It feels like– well, we received lots of applications, they are pretty much the same. No. I’ve never– I’ve been doing this for many years, and I feel still every applicant is unique, especially when it comes to the graduate program. Undergraduate is a bit easier. Pretty much everyone– almost everyone comes from maybe other high school. But here, it’s different. People have–

Or another example. For instance, you can get professional certificates. If you’re interested in cybersecurity, there are a few, again, first level certificates which might help. You could try that. If you have a GPA below a 3.0, that’s difficult, because the requirement is 3 or above in your last 60 credits in your education.

JANESSA: OK. Perfect. And then you mentioned earlier some synchronous sessions. Could you talk about a little bit of how the lectures are? If they’re recorded, if there are lectures, what those synchronous sessions or asynchronous sessions may consist of?

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Yes. Absolutely. Well, first of all, every class has videos. That’s each single class developed by a professor. Then there are different ways professors approach them. Some professors develop all videos themselves, because they think that they prefer to present their material exactly the way they say it, which is quite common. Some professors, they utilize this– such a large variety of resources available out there today, because, by now, a lot has been developed already. And there are certain topics that could be covered that are already covered by experts in the field.

And, because of that, these instructors, they– first, they have their own videos. For instance, I do. I have my own videos. But in addition to that, I recommend resources, it’s called Open Educational Resources. I add these resources to my course, because I honestly feel it’s important. I strongly believe it’s very important.

In addition to that, we do not have required synchronous meetings with students. We don’t have that. But some professors, and I am one of them, I like to give optional meetings, to have optional class meetings with students. If we do so, then, again, it’s up to the student whether they can or cannot join. That’s perfectly fine. It’s not required. But these meetings will be recorded.

What I usually do, instead of a long lecture, I give quick summaries about certain topics, we discuss questions. I also– I personally, and maybe not I, but actually all of our professors, we are really into hands-on assignments. We like to work on problems. We don’t like lectures. Just two hours, two and a half hours, giving a lecture, it doesn’t work anymore. But we have exercises that we work with students, we work with students together on. And this is recorded. Afterwards, it will be posted on Blackboard. And students who could not attend can review these lectures in addition to what we provide,

But, in my opinion, even if a student doesn’t want to review those optional lectures, it’s still fine, because we have those pre-recorded videos in each class, and they are fantastic. They’re professional developed, top-notch, so– and everything you need to know is there.

JANESSA: Perfect. I think we had another question come in through the chat.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Sorry. I missed it.

JANESSA: Oh, you’re fine. It’s regarding– it was specific to the DoD’s internship and scholarship program that you mentioned earlier. I don’t know if you’ll have the information on this. But a student’s asking if there’s any advantage to current or former service members for those spots. Do you know anything about that?

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Yes, I do. If I understood the question correctly. If not, please correct me. Sometimes it’s really funny when the person starts answering a question which was not asked, so please stop me. But if this question says, if you are, or if you were related to some DoD service before, will you have any advantage or not?

Absolutely, yes. And I know the answer to this question because they change requirements, and their criteria, every year. Maybe not that much, but a little bit. And last year, that was one of the, not requirements, but that was something that they were pleased to see on an application. Pat, did I answer your– OK. OK. Oh, good. Good. All right.

JANESSA: They were ahead of the game. OK. Perfect. And then, again, I know you may be only able to address the question from your perspective. But are there a lot of group assignments in the program? Or is it more of an individual basis in which they’ll be receiving your assignments?

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Oh, that’s both. Where do I start? I can talk for another two hours about that. Well, short answer, we have all the assignments, different types of assignments. I use in my course, but my course is similar to all other courses. But I have practice problems. I have homeworks. I have problems, collaborative assignments. I have for individual assignments. I have quizzes. I have discussion board discussions, and postings. We have everything.

We make sure that students collaborate when they want to. Some instructors, they assign– even that is a task. So the students have to form groups, and work in teams. Some faculty, for instance, I don’t do that. I feel students form their teams on their own. And it works quite well because they work the way they prefer to work, and it’s quite successful, and very efficient. So in my classes, students will collaborate through the discussion board, and they will respond to each other’s questions, and they work together.

And there are some individual assignments, too, of course, because we have to make sure that the student demonstrates their work. But in my class, for instance, again, on practice problems, students can– I encourage students to work together. I even ask them, please, do so, and please correct it yourselves. And because right now, I believe collaboration is– not I believe. But I actually do research on that. And if you look at industry reports, they all say that one of the number one skills that students need today would be collaborative skills.

JANESSA: Wonderful. That was a list of all of the questions that we got emailed in before. Do you guys have any last-minute questions? We still have about 10 minutes left. I’d love to take advantage of the time that we have with our faculty to answer anything that may be left. And, Dr. Rytikova, is there anything else that you want to say before we go ahead and end, if we don’t get any more?

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Oh, there is one question.

JANESSA: There’s one more.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Not really, Pat. Not necessarily. We provide software for our students for free. So that will be a part of what the university and the school provides. Hardware well, you need a good laptop, or computer, PC. It doesn’t matter. So you need– you need a good computer. That’s pretty much it. And then you go with what you– also need a microphone. I’m sorry. You need a microphone. You need maybe a camera. But that’s as far as we go.

JANESSA: OK. Perfect.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: OK. Well, if there are no questions, we can still wait for a few moments. But I could summarize today’s session with the following. I always tell students, I know that I’m supposed to say we have– what I’m supposed to say. I’m supposed to say, we have a great program, come to us. And I never say that. We do have a great program. No questions about that. And you can check it out. You can send me questions afterwards. I will be more than happy to answer. You can contact faculty directly, and ask them questions, what they think, anything you want to. We can do that.

But I always tell students, it’s not about our program. It’s about you. You need to select what you think will work for you best. There are a few other programs in our– well, in our school, there is only one more program like that, also for [INAUDIBLE]. You can check it out. But there are also other departments that offer programs, either online, or partially online, or on campus. You can check other universities. What’s important is to make sure that you find something that you are interested in.

I don’t know if you can be passionate at this point, because you haven’t started studying, so you don’t know exactly what’s there. But if you were always curious about, for instance, cybersecurity, if you are curious about the world, because right now it’s really important, and look at what’s going on in the world. So cybersecurity is one of the top areas that you might be interested in. Then please, try our cybersecurity.

If you are more on the data side, I am personally on the data side. I do everything with data. I would highly recommend that you think about our data analytics and intelligence methods program concentration, because it’s something that you will definitely enjoy. You will work with numbers, you will see results from these numbers. That’s always fascinating– still fascinates me. You get a bunch of numbers, and when you put it together, you do your magic, and then, oof, you have some interesting conclusions, or results, that tells you so much about the entire population.

If interested in IT management, we also have that. In our concentration, IT management is different from business, because we don’t cover just business aspects of IT, but we focus more on IT, but we also add this business perspective, which is quite unique. That’s also interesting. You might be curious about that, too. But it’s all about– and I also– it’s my personal belief, so maybe others disagree with me. But I also believe that, if you select any of these fields, and you feel that it’s something you’re interested in, you will be successful later on.

I hear often from students, they ask me sometimes very openly, just tell me which concentration to choose where I will get a lot of money. Well, and my answer is always the same. It’s not about just that. It’s about you. If you find something you hate, it’s very difficult to succeed. No matter what you do, you will work very hard. You will study. But it will be so painful that it’s difficult. But if you are interested in certain tasks, even if it feels like it’s less popular than you think, you will be more successful in the long run.

And, plus, what’s important is, to remember that everything today– and I honestly– I know that for fact, that everything in IT is so closely related that you start with something in one area, then you move on to the next one, to the next one, and so forth. So you will be successful, no matter what you do.

I believe so, Faith. That’s my answer would be absolutely, yes. Or absolutely, yes. 25 probably came from the fact that we limit our number of students in our classes. For graduate program, for graduate classes, it’s 25 or below. But on average, we often run classes, our average would be 15, one five. 15 students or so. And the reason why, because, well, first of all, we don’t want to run large classes. But second is, because some of our advanced classes, we don’t get enough, we don’t get 25 students. So we’ll run it with fewer students. So, Faith, I hope I answered your question.

JANESSA: Perfect. Well, we are about almost at time. So, again, any last minute questions, feel free to go ahead and get them answered now. We really appreciate everyone joining us this afternoon. It looks like it was answered. Perfect. And that is everything that we have today. Thank you so much, Dr. Rytikova, for joining us this afternoon. We really appreciate it. Nothing beats hearing directly from our faculty, directly from our coordinators, about how our program is run, and about the statistics of it. It’s so helpful.

And thank you, everyone prospective, for joining us this afternoon, and being interactive. We appreciate all of the questions. And feel free to reach out to us if you do have any. I’m happy to answer any specific questions you guys have about admissions, about tuition, about deadlines. You can always give us a call. I will go ahead and actually put our phone number in the chat. We have someone usually in the office from about 8:30 in the morning until 8:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and then Fridays usually until about 5:00. So feel free to give us a call if you do have any questions, we’re happy to assist in any way. And, again, thank you so much for joining us. We’ll give you a few moments back before we go ahead and end everything else.

Dr. Rytikova, you are– we’re not able to hear you.

IOULIA RYTIKOVA: And I was so excited about giving my speech. I just wanted to thank everyone for coming. Thank you for inviting me. And I will be happy to answer your questions, too.

JANESSA: Wonderful. All right. All right, everyone. Feel free to reach out to the information that is in the chat. We’ll have– if you don’t have an admissions representative and you’re looking for one, you can reach out to that phone number. We’re happy to assist. Additionally, we will likely have someone reach out to you within the next week or so with any additional questions. But thank you, all, for joining us. I’ll go ahead and end out everything for us. You guys have a good day.

Masters in Economics Transcript

[00:00:00] All right, we’ll go ahead and get started. So thank you everyone for joining us this afternoon, we are very excited to get started with our presentation. Uh, again, to introduce myself, my name is Janessa. I’m an admissions representative here with our online economics program. Here is a resource to give information, answer questions, and walk you through the application process.

If it’s something you decide to move forward. A quick overview of our evening. We have our program director this afternoon with us, Dr. Christopher coin. He’s gonna start by telling us a little bit about himself, his role, and we’ll get a general overview of the degree, um, and then answer some questions. So if you housekeeping items that I do wanna review before we jump into everything, there is both a questions and a chat function on your screen.

Feel free to use either during the duration of the open house, we will address them towards the end. Um, but more than welcome to. Type in the chat type in the question box. If you are utilizing the chat, [00:01:00] please just be aware who you’re sending messages to. You do have the ability to toggle between an individual person or the entire group.

Um, but without further ado, Dr. Dr. Coin, could you get us started? Well, thank you very much. And, and let me second, uh, The opening comments and thanking all of you for taking the time out of your day to, to spend a little bit of time with me. And, um, and, and others talking about the, uh, ma online program in economics, uh, a program that, uh, I’m, I’m deeply passionate about.

Uh, not just because I’m a, a faculty member, but I’m also a product of the program. So I, I am a, a graduate. The master’s in PhD program in economics at George Mason. Uh, I began my career in the program, uh, in 2001 and graduated in 2005 with a master’s in PhD. Um, and then in 2010, I was fortunate enough to come back and join the faculty.

So [00:02:00] I’m a, a full-time member of the faculty, of the department of economics. Um, but I also oversee our graduate programs, uh, and included in that portfolio of program. Is our online ma program that we are discussing today. Um, and so my goal today is to give you an overview of, of some of the unique features of the program, hopefully to answer some of your.

Questions in my talking points. Uh, and then of course, to open it up and answer any specific questions, uh, that you might have. And so if we could advance, uh, the slide, I wanna say a few words about what makes George Mason department, uh, George Mason’s department of economics really unique, and it’s something I’ll, I’ll refer to as, as MEOS and MEOS finds its.

Kind of origins or history in three individuals who are all. Nobel prize winners in economics. Uh, one of them is FA Hayek, uh, who won the [00:03:00] Nobel prize in 1974. Uh, and among other things, Hayek was known for his work in market process economics. Uh, the way that markets operate, the importance of markets and facilitating cooperation, coordination, and human.

In 1986, James Buchanan, who was a faculty member at George Mason at the time won the Nobel prize in economics for his work in what’s called public choice theory, which is the application of economics to politics. And in 2002 Vernon Smith. Who was also a faculty member at George Mason university at the time one, the Nobel prize per his work in experimental economics.

Experimental experimental economics is a field in economics that uses experimental methods to explore various questions in economics. So these three individuals, uh, really serve as kind of the inspiration and foundation for the economics program. And I wanted to start with this both [00:04:00] to make clear that the, the economics department at George Mason has a really unique and rich history.

We’re we are, um, the only school in Virginia that has in economics, I should say that has a, a Nobel prize winner, let alone two of them. Uh, and you’d be hard pressed to find programs outside of perhaps the top two or three or four in the country that have Nobel prize winners historically on their, um, faculty.

And so as. Think about the electives we offer and I’ll come back to those in a few minutes. Remember what I said here, and I’ll make reference back to it because you can see the inspiration in those electives. And so if we move on and talk a little bit about what our faculty today do, and many of our students, we really engage in four main activities.

Uh, and, and I, when I say we, again, I’m referring to the, to the community of MEOS scholars, both faculty and students, we engage in scholar. So that’s research [00:05:00] focused on scholarly output. We focus on policy, both analyzing understanding policy and how it affects human wellbeing for better or for worse.

Public communication and outreach. So something that’s really unique about our program is that many of our faculty and students invest a lot of time and effort in becoming really effective communicators to reach the broadest possible audience. Uh, not just other scholars. Not just policy makers, even though we do that as well.

And it’s quite important, but the broader public as well. So this can include things like op-eds, this can include various media opportunities and so on and many. Academic units in economics and elsewhere really are, are oftentimes narrowly focused on scholarship and sometimes policy. Uh, but oftentimes this, the importance of public communication and outreach gets neglected and, and developing those skills and taking that seriously, uh, is, is a really important part [00:06:00] of, uh, our program and, and our, our hi, the history of our program.

And then teaching, uh, we, we teach graduate students. We teach undergraduate students and many of our. Graduate students, uh, go on to teach as well at, at various levels. Um, whether it’s at high school, college and so on. And so I wanted to give you a sense of the various activities that we undertake and that, uh, we place an emphasis on as a program.

And so then if we move on to our online ma program, given that background and context, let me say a few words about what you can expect. And, and before we get into the specific structure, which I’ll talk about in a moment, I, I wanna make something very clear because it’s a question that comes up often the online program, and I’ll emphasize the word.

Really refers to the modality or, or the method through which the program is delivered to participants. And I say that because we also offer an on the ground [00:07:00] master’s program. And one of the questions I often get is, well, am I really getting a master’s program degree? Is it the same thing? And the answer is yes, it is a master’s degree in economics from George Mason university.

It is a fully accredited program. It is a, a, a major state university and your master’s degree when you complete the program is the same as the master’s degree that someone in the, on the ground program would receive in terms of the meaning, the credibility, the accreditation, and so on. And so there is no difference in terms of the quality of the, the, the degree itself.

It is equivalent what the online program does. It is allows participants to have flexibility in the delivery of the material and content to better fit their. Life, whether that is professional, whether it is personal, meaning your geographic location or [00:08:00] obligations, um, on you that prevent you from attending and on the ground program, uh, it provides that flexibility in offering you the content of a master’s degree, but it is a master’s degree.

And so let’s then turn to some of the specific content and structure of the program if we can advance. And so here’s, here’s an overview of, of how. Uh, uh, the program is structured and then we’ll move into a little more about kind of the, the nature of some of the classes, uh, because that’s a common question I get, I get as well.

And so, uh, again, this is structured very much like our on the ground program. And so it’s a, a 30 credit. Degree each course that we offer is three credits. So that’s 10 courses total, and those courses really are divided into two buckets. The first bucket is, is what we call core classes. They are foundational courses and these are standard, um, across pretty much.

Every graduate program in economics. Uh, and as you can see from, from the table, this includes, [00:09:00] uh, the microeconomic theory sequence. It includes, so there’s two microeconomic theory courses, uh, macroeconomic theory, and then math for economists and, um, foundational econometrics. And so that is. Five core classes, three credits.

Each that’s 15 credits are half of the total 30 credits. Now I should mention while our program has those unique features, I was talking about, which really come into fruition in the elective courses, the foundational core courses are traditional economic courses. And so the microeconomic theory you’re gonna get to provide an example is standard Neo classic.

Microeconomic theory that you would get in any economics program. And so one of the really unique features of our program is you’re getting that traditional. Education in the core classes, but then when you move to the elective courses, which are in that right hand table, you have options to choose. And amongst those are courses that align with that unique history I was talking about.

So you can [00:10:00] see among others, we offer a elective course in market process theory, which touches upon the Austrian school, including Hayek and others. We offer an elective course in experimental economic. Which will introduce you to that field. And we offer a, an elective course in public choice, public economics, which will introduce you to that field.

We also have courses in causal inference, which is an another statistics slash econometrics course that is focused on isolating, uh, uh, causation in statistical a. We offer a course in comparative economic systems, which places an emphasis on institutional economics, um, and comparisons of different ways of organizing economic activity.

So you’ll talk in there about things like market forms of organization versus centrally platforms of economic organization and so on. Uh, and we offer an elective in gender economics, uh, which is focused on, uh, the role that gender roles and gender outcomes, uh, uh, [00:11:00] play in economic activity. Uh, and so how you decide to use your elective courses?

The four courses is up to you. You can pick from those, we offer all of these on a regular basis. Um, the only. Constraint is enrollment. Uh, and so, so we need a minimum enrollment of four people per elective, or, or we don’t offer it. But then it gets typically offered in the next round. In my several years of doing this, we’ve only had to cancel one class once because of enrollment.

And so these are pretty much offered on a regular basis, um, at, at a, on a very high offer rate mean that you’ll have options. Um, and then the final class. Which is a required class. That final three credits is a capstone course, and that’s at the, in that bottom row of the right hand, um, table. And that’s a required course.

Um, and it’s the final three credits and it’s, and it’s a course that kind of sums things up and allows you to draw upon all of the various, uh, Concepts and techniques that you’ve learned about both in your core classes and your [00:12:00] elective classes, and to bring those together and to tie things together and demonstrate that you’ve not just learned things, but can integrate them.

Uh, and so, uh, uh, there are various exercises in that class from identifying. Applications of concepts that you’ve learned to, uh, reviewing existing statistical analysis and attempting to gather information of how you would replicate those. If you were gonna go about replicating the statistical analysis, uh, and so on that allow you to really integrate all the things you’ve learned throughout the program.

And. And so that’s the structure of the program. Now, one thing I, I wanna mention before moving on, because one of the questions that is quite common and some of you might have it and feel free to ask additional questions is about the math. Uh, and that’s a common question in economics programs in general.

And so. Um, there’s certainly math involved. Uh, the math tends to show up both in the math econ course, of [00:13:00] course, as the name implies and then in the microeconomic sequence. Uh, but, uh, a couple of things I just wanna highlight, the way we have this structured is there is a math bootcamp that is asynchronous and online.

All the material is available through Blackboard and you get access to that material after you have, um, joined the program and you get it before the first. Opens and begins. So you can review that at your own pace. And people’s background in math, in our program, varies greatly. Some people have a lot of math.

Some people have very little. Um, and, uh, or they’ve taken math, but it was, you know, several years ago. Um, we do recommend that you have a comfort level with, uh, uh, calculus, basic calculus, um, and basic statistics, not those aren’t requirements for the program, but they are, are recommended. Um, and I, we certainly can share.

You know, the syllabi with you for microeconomic theory, one for [00:14:00] instance, so that you can, um, see the level of, of, of math that’s required. But the other thing we’ve done and the structure of the program is that math econ comes first. So I know that on our table here on the left, it’s listed last that’s just because we put ’em in the, the course number order.

And it’s cor it’s econ six 30, but it comes first in your program of study. So the first course you would take when you join the program, is math. Econ. The reason why is because that course really. Goes over the baseline concepts in mathematical economics. And it serves as a nice entry point then to transition into micro theory one.

So if you have, um, you know, very little math background, you’ll have that class first to kind of set the stage. And if you do have math background, that course sound serves as a nice refresher to get you up to speed and to refresh your memory to, again, transition into the micro sequence, which will follow.

Um, and then once you’re through those, um, [00:15:00] mic, uh, foundational core classes, then you transition into the electives. And so let’s talk a little bit then about what you can expect. Uh, what, what does this look like? Um, and if we can advance, uh, one slide Janessa, as, as time permits, we can, um, talk a little bit about this.

And so these are some screenshots from a couple of our classes. This is from that’s me up in the upper left hand corner from my market process theory class. And this is my colleague Joan Marom, who, um, designed both the econometrics course, but also the gender economics class. And so the format of this program is asynchronous and.

What that means is it’s not like most traditional programs that you might have had for instance, at, in the UN in your undergraduate experience where you show up in a classroom on Tuesday from four to seven, and you’re face to face with the professor. It [00:16:00] is asynchronous in that. Um, there I, the material is.

There’s access to the professor, but within that, um, you have certain tasks to accomplish within a, a period, usually within a week, you know, each week. And of course there’s longer term projects in each, um, session, but you can work at your own pace and you can look at the material and study the material, engage the material as your schedule permits.

Of course the great strength of this and, and why many of the students select this program is precisely because it offers them that flexibility. It offers them the ability to engage the material as their schedule permits. And it really is a diverse group of students. And so right now I’m teaching my, my market process theory class, and we have students that are abroad.

We have students that are here in the United States, but some are on the east coast where I’m located, some are on the west coast. And one of the things I found talking to the, to students and getting to know them is that, uh, the flexibility of, uh, the asynchronous [00:17:00] format really benefits them because, um, of their, of their personal and professional commitments and their, their geographic, uh, differences, which of course results in different time zones.

And so the courses vary in content, of course, But there’s most of them have a video component where there’s videos that align with, um, the content. Um, many of them have various material that is a mix of PowerPoint, slides of readings, um, of material that you engage with that can be, um, discussion forms.

It can be. Various quizzes. Uh, some of the classes have group projects where you have to collaborate with your colleagues. So you actually get to know your colleagues. Um, most of the courses do have a synchronous component. Um, and what I mean by that is that there are opportunities to have face to face time.

With your professor, but it’s a, it’s a minority of each [00:18:00] class. So, so this is a, a asynchronous program. And to provide you an example for my own class, what I’ve done is offered, set up several optional sessions, um, over zoom where students can join and, uh, we can talk about whatever they wanna talk about.

So I, I don’t have a set. You know, lecture, I’m giving, I’m not talking at them. I am engaging with them. And, uh, it’s optional. So again, you know, I, I, I fully recognize that students have very different schedules, which is part of the reason they choose this program. And so I, I don’t want to penalize anyone if they can’t attend.

Um, but it does afford them an opportunity to have interaction with me and with the other students in the class, and to talk about content in the class. Broader issues and economics that they’re interested in either, you know, current events or, or things in their career. Um, and, and affords us that opportunity to, to get to know each other and have those interactions.

And many of the classes [00:19:00] have those components in it. Um, to, to various degrees in, in various ways. Um, so there’s no single format. So where I can say every class has the same exact format, but that component exists. Um, if we can advance the, the slide, I can talk a little bit about. Some concrete things, linking back to what I said we do as a faculty.

And so these are some screenshots of some of the things that if you know, George Mason, you probably know some of these people already. And so my colleague Tyler Cowan, uh, runs a blog, uh, along with Alex Tabak called marginal revolution. Uh, it is one of, if not the most famous economics. Um, that exists. Uh, and this, I think nicely highlights what I was trying to get at earlier about the commitment to public outreach and engagement using the tools of economics.

Uh, and so, uh, one of the things we really place an emphasis on [00:20:00] is not just learning the, the tools of economics, but the applicability of those tools. Um, and, and, uh, uh, you see that both in our faculty, the work they do, but also our student. You know, our student body across all our programs, our in person program or on the ground program and online program is extremely diverse and they do.

Uh, an enormous array of different professional and personal activities, just to provide you a couple examples. Um, you know, we, we recently had our first class graduate and, and several of them came to campus for the graduation. And I got to, to meet many of these people who I had interacted with, uh, You know, either over email or, or through zoom in person, which was wonderful.

And it was just amazing. The, the background, they had, some of them, you know, we had one person who is a high school teacher and she teaches AP economics and she wanted the master’s in economics to enhance her knowledge of economics, to be able to provide her students with more insight into, into economics.

In our classes, we had another student [00:21:00] who, uh, a graduate program who worked for a nonprofit out in the Midwest, uh, and she wanted to. Gain a deeper understanding of economics in order to integrate that into her, uh, work in the nonprofit, uh, which involved, uh, strategic planning and analysis. And, and how can I better think about how to engage in critical thinking as it applies to strategic management for the operations of the nonprofit, we have students who are in banking and who are work for, uh, government, uh, in, in areas like the world bank, uh, the IMF and so on.

Uh, and so. The really nice thing about an economics degree is it provides you with an analytical toolkit to engage in a whole host of different activities. Um, in the, in the lower right hand, uh, portion of this slide, you see a. Uh, uh, a, a screenshot of testimony that my colleague Thomas Stratman, Thomas Stratman designed the public choice class and the causal inference class for the program for the [00:22:00] online program.

And this is testimony he gave in front of the Georgia house of representatives on, uh, certificate of need loss. Certificate of need laws are, are laws that you need. Medical facilities need government approval either at the state level or the federal level in order to open and expand medical facilities.

And Thomas Stratman has done empirical research on the role that these certificate of need laws play in expanding access to healthcare. And, and, uh, it’s not just academic research, even though he’s done that too. This is a perfect example of how my colleagues take that. Academic research and, and make it relevant to the actual world in this case, by, um, giving face to face testimony to, to lawmakers.

And then my colleague, Pete Beke in the lower left hand corner, who’s a prolific scholar Pete’s, uh, designed the comparative institutions class for the program that I mentioned earlier. Uh, his most recent book is on public governments, which is really public administration. [00:23:00] And so one of the really unique features of, of George Mason and my colleagues is they’re really interdisciplinary scholars.

And so they have a excellent knowledge, not just of economics, narrowly construed, but of political science of public administration. Of sociology, uh, and they’re able to bring that interdisciplinary, uh, set of, of tools and insights into, uh, their work as, as teachers, uh, and in the courses they design. And certainly as you move into the elective courses, you’ll see, um, a, a great deal that interdisciplinary work.

Uh, and so this is just kind of a, a sample of, of some of the things that my colleagues do and, and some of the things that, um, That, that you will have the ability to, to, to do, uh, given the tools that our program, uh, uh, emphasizes and teaches. And so let me pause here and see if there’s any questions or, [00:24:00] or things that, um, people have at this point before.

And if not, I can talk more about the admissions require.

I know we’ve had quite a few submissions of questions, um, before the open house for some people who weren’t able to attend. And so one of ’em that I wanna bring up that you kind of touched on Dr. Coin is, you know, the, the variability in which students can go into different fields with this degree. Would you mind sharing a little bit about the common.

Um, career tracks that people go in after they receive a degree in economics, or maybe even that they’re transitioning to, while they’re going throughout the degree program here. Yeah, that that’s a, a great question and there’s no single track and, and, and that, isn’t my attempt to avoid answering the question.

I, I don’t want to give a simple answer to a question that doesn’t have one. I, you know, one of the things that I really appreciate about our graduate students in general, across all of our, [00:25:00] our, our various programs is, is the diversity of backgrounds they have. And what I mean by that is. They are literally from all walks of life.

They have, they have significant differences in the undergraduate degrees that they have. So many of our students do not have economics, undergraduate degrees, some do, they are at different points in their career. So, you know, some people say, well, I’m 20 years out. Uh, you know, I’m too old to go back and get a minister’s degree and that’s simply not true.

Our, our program has a variety of people, um, of different ages and backgrounds. Some are coming right out of undergraduate or graduated, maybe one, two or three years ago, others graduated decades ago and they are looking to either enhance their skillset within their current career or to make a transit.

Um, you know, one, one of the people who I just spoke with, um, last week, um, he, uh, is, has a he’s out, located out on the west coast in, in, in the United States. And he’s working while he’s in the [00:26:00] program, but his goal is to eventually pursue a PhD in economics. Um, he wants to, he wants to be a professor. And so his decision to enter the program was to reinforce his core understanding of economics to.

Provide that foundation to make that transition to graduate school. That’s just one path. As I mentioned, others, uh, who are in the program have a career track already, and they are looking to use the tools that are in the program to leverage and, and, and, uh, build upon their, their existing career path with their current employer.

Uh, and, and others wanna are looking for a switch to, to a new career and are using this as an opportunity to do that. Now I should mention that. One thing I didn’t mention earlier, that’s important to know is that I mentioned that this is a, a traditional master’s degree. And what comes along with that are all the privileges that come with being a student at George Mason university.

So even though you will be remote [00:27:00] as part of the online program, you are a George Mason university student, which means you have access to. The library. Uh, now it’s true. You can’t, unless you’re in Virginia, you can’t be physically in the George Mason library, but of course, so much of, of university libraries now are remote.

They’re available electronically. And George Mason university is a research university. It’s an, it’s an R one university. So we have, uh, a re an amazing. Uh, library staff, uh, and I, I, I use it every day and, uh, oftentimes I’m, I’m looking for documents or books that are long out of print and not available.

And they’re amazing at getting me stuff and getting it to me electronically of getting me electronic, digital copies of it. Um, so very rarely even being located in Fairfax, Virginia, I. Actually go to the campus library in person, but also things like career services, you will have access to. If you want to talk to someone about your resume, uh, and get a, a, a, a, another set of eyes on that, or [00:28:00] to develop it or refresh it, you’ll have access to career services, just like.

A student who is located here physically would. And so I wanted to mention that because I think it’s something else that’s often misunderstood. And I understand why you think that you’re remote. So you’re away from the university and don’t have access to those things. Uh, but you do. And, and of course, you know, one of the, the, the transitions that has it started even before the pandemic, but has really.

Ramped up with the pandemic is, is leveraging remote engagement with people. And so many of the services, um, that are on campus. Um, they’re still available in person, but there’s, there’s a remote component to them. And, and you would certainly be able to take advantage of that to the extent that you wanted to.

That’s an awesome point. I really appreciate that. I know that’s a concern for so many students. Are they gonna have access to the same resources, you know, tutoring sessions, especially with, you know, some having a concern with math, you know, they have access to the math food boot camp, but also making sure that they have access to the [00:29:00] resources that are available to on campus students while they’re, while they’re going throughout the program is, is so helpful to know.

Yep. We have a few more questions. Do you wanna hold them into questions and answers or do you wanna address some of them now? Maybe, maybe we can. Let’s see. It’s 1230 may. Maybe I can take some of the questions and then, um, you know, the only thing I’ve really left talk about is admissions requirement. So we, we can always talk about that in a moment.

Perfect. Yeah, so we have some op um, some questions regarding networking opportunities and organizations are, are students. Um, are there any sort of those that are open to students that they can join while going throughout the program? Any let’s see, we have networking opportunities. They asked about conferences and organizations that, that are open to be joined.

Sure. So, so, um, that, that’s a wonderful question. Thank you for raising it. And so again, to the extent that any organization on campus has a remote. Access. And when, when I say that, you know, I, I, I [00:30:00] can’t speak to all the different student organizations. I don’t, I don’t know. I just haven’t paid careful enough attention done the research to know, to provide you a good answer on student organizations and their remote access.

Um, and so that would depend on, on what each of those organizations did now in terms of professional organizations. Certainly those would be. Now in, in, in the way that this works and, and this is for the same for the, on the ground students. So from this standpoint, it’s a very clean parallel between the two is that that’s something you do on your own, meaning that all of us, myself included.

We, you join a professional organization either when you’re a student or, uh, when you, when you’re a graduate and you pay a membership fee. And then you’re part of that organization typically, um, Conferences are tied up with, with that membership. And so just to provide a very concrete example for economists the foundational national international associations, the American economic association, that is the top association of economists.

That’s nothing to do with George Mason university per se, or our [00:31:00] department of economics per se. That’s a association that anyone who’s a professional can join. You know, there’s a membership fee and then you’re part of it. You get access to the journals, you can then attend the conferences. And then there’s regional ones, regional association.

So there’s the Southern economic association, the Eastern economic association, the Western Associa economic association. Again, those, those are things that any of us are able to pursue as our interests. Um, dictate and we can attend the conferences that are associated there as well. Um, and so that certainly would be available to you, um, if you wanted to, to pursue that.

Uh, and then if you know, whether you wanted to just attend those conferences for the sake of attending a networking, that would be fine. Um, you can present if you have research that you wanted to present. Um, but that, that is something that is parallel to your, to, to the department of economics. Thank you.

I know it’s definitely something, a lot of our students ask about how they can, you know, get more [00:32:00] involved with, with the community, whether it is specifically at the university or, or just at the higher levels. Um, we have another question that came through regarding, I think you may have touched on this earlier regarding some of our electives, but they asked how much of our curriculum is gonna focus specifically on Austrian.

Yeah. Uh, uh, and, and that’s a great question. So thank you for asking it and, um, a minority of it, uh, a small, relatively small percentage of it. And so in the core classes, you will not have much, um, exposure to Austrian economics. If you look at the electives. So, um, there’s really two that. Give you the opportunity to be exposed to these ideas.

One is market process three. I designed that course, and that is really a course in Austrian economics and comparative economic systems, which my colleague Pete designed, uh, it’s, it’s a broader than Austria economics, but of course it, it draws upon many insights from Austria economics, [00:33:00] especially, uh, Because of things like the, the great debate in economics about the role of central planning versus, um, markets.

Um, and so, you know, one of the nice things, the way we’ve set up these electives, and it was, it was purposeful in doing this is that we wanted to provide students with a menu of options that they could customize. Of course within confines, but customize what, what their interests were. And so let’s say you that you are not interested in Austrian economics at all.

You have zero interest. You don’t even know what that term means. That’s okay. You can take causal inference, you can take experimental economics, you can take public choice economics, you can take gender economics. Um, if you’re very interested in that two of your four electives, you can take market process theory and comparative economic systems.

And so you, you, you have that opportunity to customize your program of. Uh, as you see fit, um, if you’re, if you’re more interested in kind of statistics, you can take the causal inference class. If you’re not interested in that at all, you know, you’ll still [00:34:00] have econometrics. So everyone has a baseline level, the econometric course being part of the core.

So everyone has a baseline level of understanding of, of what’s going on there, but you don’t have to pursue further study in that if, if it’s not something that interests you. And so that customization is. Nice aspect of the program and something we tried to build into it. But thank you for the question.

Yeah. And, um, Dr. Quinn, I did have kind of a follow up question regarding some of those electives that you mentioned are those, those elective choices now all fully offered, um, effective immediately, as far as when students are able to start taking them. Yep. Yep. So, so for this, for the incoming cohort, yes.

The, the last class to roll out, which is happening in two weeks is the comparative economics course. That’s the last course designed for this program? Um, my, as I mentioned, my colleague, Pete, Becky designed it, um, and, uh, That will be rolled out. And so we’re, we have these all on the schedule and cycling and, and, um, as I mentioned that the only [00:35:00] constraint in any one session would be if there happened to be low enrollment in one of them.

Um, but then typically the next time around, it would be offered and we’d have sufficient enrollment. At least that’s been the case to date so far. Okay. Perfect. Thank you. We have a few more, um, a huge question that we get here in admissions, and you kind of touched on this earlier, um, is regarding PhD opportunities.

So, you know, a lot of people do sometimes have the, the feeling that potentially a master’s may. Increased changes towards going to a PhD, or if it’s gonna be a terminal degree, could you share a little bit on the possibility of moving towards a PhD after the masters is completed? Yeah. And so that’s a, that’s a great question.

It is, it is one that we get quite often, so, so I’m glad to, to discuss it and, and, you know, like with all this stuff, I, I wanna make sure that I’m being transparent and, and, and not overselling anything because that’s certainly not my intention. And so, you know, PhDs. In economics are tricky things. And when I say they’re tricky things, it’s that [00:36:00] depending which program you go to, the requirements can differ dramatically.

And, and let me say a little more about that to, to move beyond that broad claim. If your goal is to go to a top five, PhD in economics, you basically need to go get a math degree. Uh, and, uh, you know, I’m, I’m talking. If you wanted to go to MIT, if you wanted to go to Cal tech, if you want, if Harvard, if these are your, your, your dreams, um, then.

Taking this master’s degree is not magically gonna open the door to you. It’s not, not gonna necessarily hurt you either, but you know, I don’t wanna, certainly don’t wanna make it sound like you, you do the master’s, you, you do well in it. And all of a sudden, you know, why aren’t I getting into these programs?

Because they’re, they’re Uber competitive programs. And, and again, you look at the backgrounds of the people who apply and get into those programs. And that’s typically they have either engineering or, or math backgrounds from top universities, uh, that said, Having a master’s in economics can serve as a [00:37:00] very nice and beneficial segue into getting a PhD, because it provides you with the requisite foundations and backgrounds of the core tools of economics that you will be exposed to in most PhD programs.

And so if you look at the structure of this master’s perimeter or most other master’s programs that matter, it parallels a PhD program. The content is different, but it parallels that net PhD programs have core classes as well. And those core classes are typically microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, math, and so.

Coming out of something like this program, you would’ve been exposed to those foundational classes and concepts that you would then see in a PhD program. Uh, and then, you know, you take fields in a field is, is, is a series of electives in the PhD. And that varies from program to program what, what fields are offered.

And so it will certainly provide you with that foundation and an entry point. Um, but, um, You know, [00:38:00] it really depends on what you want to accomplish and what type of PhD program you want to pursue, whether it makes sense to do that or not. Uh, and so, uh, it’s certainly not a guarantee, meaning when I say it that the online ma is certainly not a guarantee of you being accepted to, or flourishing in a PhD program, because again, it’s context specific of your goals.

Uh, but it can be useful depending on if those goals align with what this program offers. You. Wonderful. Thank you. And then one more. And I think we’ll, we’ll probably be able to move on, is gonna be, um, is there any specific software or programs that are used in the PR within the degree program? That’s a wonderful question. So, so thank you for raising it. The econometrics, um, class and the causal inference class use data, uh, that’s the, the statistical software package that’s used in those classes.

Uh, and so you would have to have access to that. And, [00:39:00] um, other than that, it’s just. Internet access, um, for, for the other courses. Um, and so, uh, you know, state and R are often the, the two main statistical packages that are, that are utilized, um, both in economics programs, but more broadly in the world as well.

So you will have exposure to that and experience using that coming out of the econometrics course, which is a core class and the causal inference class. Wonderful. Thank you. I think we’re all caught up at this. All right. So if we just, then I scroll ahead to our last slide, which is, or second to last slide, I guess it is the admissions requirements.

And let me just spend a few moments, saying a few things about this, and then we can answer any final questions that others might have. So in terms of degree requirements, um, a bachelor’s degree, um, from a, an accredited, uh, university, uh, as I mentioned earlier, I just wanna reiterate this. These are [00:40:00] recommended, but not required courses.

Uh, and so we, you know, students often say, well, well, what background knowledge should I have to succeed in this program? And my response usually is, look, do you have a, a working knowledge of intermediate micro and intermediate macro? Uh, it doesn’t have to be that you formally took an intermediate micro and macro class and we saved a certain grade.

That’s great if you did, but the, the, the knowledge that. Is taught in those classes. Do you have a comfort level with it? And one of the really nice things now with the way education, uh, and online education has evolved is that there’s so many resources available to people, um, that you can. Find the equivalent of these courses or the contexts in these courses online and just review it if you wanted to and say, well, am I, am I comfortable with this?

Um, of course you can get, get a traditional micro and macro textbook to, and look through it, even if it’s an older edition, just to make sure you’re comfortable with it. Um, and then a baseline level of calculus and statistics, [00:41:00] you know, people often ask me, well, can you be a little more concrete? Uh, you know, there there’s the shams outlined books.

They’re, they’re kind of these overview books. Um, that that are, it’s a series called the shams series and they have all different subjects and they do have a shams outline in, um, mathematical economics and in, in statistics and econometrics. And so I’ll often say to students, if you get your hands on those shams outlined books, I think they’re they’re paperback.

So they’re not super expensive. Um, and you feel comfortable with the baseline material in. Book, um, then you should be good to go. Doesn’t mean you’re gonna glide through everything. I’m not, I’m not trying to, to oversell it. Um, but if you, if you look at that and you say, gosh, This is just over my head.

Then you might need to, to brush up on, on some basic calculus before joining the program, um, or any other economics program for that matter, because this is usually the baseline level, the minimal level that you need for an economics master’s [00:42:00] program. So from that standpoint, our program is very much in line, um, with the norm across, um, programs.

And then of course the other requirements are, are traditional requirements. There’s um, the online application that you complete your transcripts from your prior institutions, a resume, a brief personal statement. So in. That that’s one, a really unique part of, of any application. The reason I say it’s unique is because if you look at the other stuff, you’re usually reporting on stuff you did, your transcripts are, his are historical.

Um, you know, the classes you took and all that, your letters of recommendation, you’re asking people to write them for you. So you don’t control the content. The personal statement is your opportunity to kind. Be yourself and to express yourself. And so take advantage of that, um, make it personal. And what I mean by that is, you know, people say to me, well, what, what should I write?

I think the best letters tell the admissions committee about you and why you wanna pursue the degree and why you’re a good fit for it. Um, the, the worst kinds are, are [00:43:00] kind of platitudes. You know, they’ll say things. George Mason is a great university. It’s state of the art and has great faculty. Uh, I agree with that, but it also doesn’t tell us anything, you know, the really good letters are.

Statements of purpose are I, I have this experience, uh, this is why I wanna pursue a master’s in economics. This is why GMU is a fit for me. And this is what’ll add to the program and I bring this experience and, um, I can be a valuable contributor and, and you really get a sense for, for people through those statements.

And that, I think that’s a very valuable aspect of it. And so I wanted to mention that as. Um, we have a very fast turnaround time once admissions, admissions, um, the, excuse me, once the applications come through, we try to turn decisions around very quickly, cuz we know that people want to be able to plan, uh, and decide what they they’re doing in their future.

And so we try to be respectful of that and move quickly. Um, and so, um, we, we do our best on that side to, to make things as efficient as possible. Uh, and of course there [00:44:00] are people available. To assist, um, you in this application process, uh, as needed. Um, and so I don’t know if there’s any other questions or, or things I can discuss.

I gladly will, if there are.

No, I, I think you did a good job. As I said, I have some questions that are, are in my notes here that some students have submitted before. So I’ll run through those and if anyone has additional questions, feel free to keep them coming. Um, but one thing that, that Dr. Coin mentioned that I do wanna just reiterate is that we do have a team here.

That is ready to assist you. If you have any questions regarding your application process, next steps or missing documents, we’re really here to support you in whatever way that we can. So please feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to assist. Um, in a minute, I’ll put our, our number in the chat more than welcome to reach out, ask for your admissions representative.

If you don’t know who they are, that’s perfectly fine. We can always figure it out for you and then get you in contact with them. That way you, you have a really good understanding of what your next steps. All right. So I know, um, a few of [00:45:00] those questions that I received earlier this week, um, is regarding the communication between faculty and students.

So I know you mentioned earlier, there is still an opportunity for office hours, but is there a way, or I guess how often are office hours held and is this, you know, gonna vary by faculty? Um, and how do students typically communicate with their faculty to get their questions? Answer. That’s a great question and, and certainly a relevant one in the, in the online environment.

And there is variation across how this is done. And so, as I mentioned, sometimes, you know, some of these classes offer, um, somewhat regular synchronous meetings, oftentimes optional, um, meaning they’re not required because it’s an asynchronous program and that’s one way to interact with faculty. Um, and then, uh, most of my co.

Set up office hours by appointment. And that’s how I do it too. And the reason I do that is because, you know, Even on, on the ground, this happens, but certainly [00:46:00] virtually given the diversity of people in our program, it makes no sense for me to say, I’m gonna be available from Tuesday, you know, on Tuesdays from two to three Eastern, because you know, our students out in California or who are over in Europe, um, you know, they’re not gonna.

Be available those times. And so normally what I do is I just meet with students when it’s convenient. And so just, you know, early this week on Monday, one of the students in my market process, theory class, he emailed me that morning and he just said, you know, I’d like to meet with you to, I forgot what he wanted to discuss.

Oh, oh. He, he wanted to discuss pursuing a PhD. Uh, and I just said, I have it availability at 11:00 AM today. Eastern does that happen to work? And he he’s in California and he was like, yep. So. We just met by zoom, zoom and had a casual conversation about it. It was, you know, no formal. Preparation on either side.

It was just a, a nice conversation. And, um, that’s oftentimes how we do it. Other other students send me emails or messages through Blackboard and that’s fine too. You know, I, I I’ve, I’ve set up these synchronous sessions. I mentioned [00:47:00] where I’m, I’m available on zoom and I’ve had, I’ve had variation, meaning that I’ve had somewhere, some students show up and I’ve had a couple where no students show up at all.

It’s. You know, that’s okay. I don’t, I don’t take offense. I understand that people have obligations and, and there’s no it’s not required as part of their class. Um, but there are those opportunities to interact with students. I mean, with faculty part and, and it really is dependent on what students want.

Um, and, and what they wanna get out of it. And it’s okay to want more or less interaction because people have different wants and different needs and obligations. And so we try to do our best to satisfy that diversity of wants amongst our, our student body.

Thank you, Dr. Coin. Um, we have another one and this is again, something we get pretty often here, uh, here in the admissions office. What would you recommend for students with maybe a little bit of a lower GPA? You know, it’s nothing that they can go ahead and [00:48:00] change, but are there any recommendations maybe for courses to be taken?

Um, what can students do to help boost their application? If their GPA was maybe a little bit lower upon graduation? Yeah, that’s a, a wonderful question. So I’m glad you raised it. So that’s, that’s excellent. Cause it is something that comes upright a lot. You’re right. I think there’s a couple things. First of all, I think that you have to embrace the fact that your past is your past.

And, and, and what I mean by that is we, none of us are the same people that we were when we were an undergraduate and. I know that’s obvious in some sense, but the reason I say that is because that statement of purpose is a really good opportunity to discuss how you have evolved as a person. And we’ve had numerous people come into our program where if you just stopped at their undergraduate transcripts.

So imagine you were looking at the application, you stopped there, Andre like, oh my, you know, a three GPA, a 2.8 GPA. This person must be a terrible student. Then you keep reading. It’s like, well, wait a [00:49:00] second. This person is a vice president in their, in, in a, in a, in a banker or something like that, that doesn’t comport with being a bad student.

Then you read their essay and it’s like, yeah, I was a bad student. I was immature or I had some challenge in life. It could be a, a personal challenge, a professional challenge, a family challenge, and it impacted my education. And here’s the way I’ve evolved as a person. And I personally. And professionally meaning as a, as a, as a faculty member.

But personally, I also appreciate when people own their past, but also explain how they’ve changed and, and recognize that just because that experience evolved the way it did in the past doesn’t mean that. You’re doomed for all time, not to be able to pursue opportunities. If the, the thing I would mention though, is if that is reflective of your knowledge of a subject.

So let’s go back and talk about our suggested courses. If you let’s say you gotta see an intermediate micro [00:50:00] that is not gonna doom your application. But what I would say is if you have a C level knowledge of intermediate microeconomics, then you might wanna brush up on intermediate microeconomics. If you didn’t do well in calculus, You know, if you’ve evolved as a person and you’ve studied and even on your own, and you feel comfortable with that, then again, make it clear and that’s okay.

Um, but if not, and if, if that actually reflects your weakness in that area, then you might want to either take a course, a formal course or at least study up on your own. And so that’s, that’s how I would respond to that. Um, but, but that’s the way to think about it. How have you, if someone said to you, how have you changed as a person and as a student and scholar.

How would you explain that? If you can explain it, uh, then you’re in pretty good shape. It’s no guarantee if anything, of course, but that’s the way to, to, to think about it. But I also wanna say this, I don’t, I don’t think you need to go back and do another degree. I don’t think you need to take courses for the sake of taking courses.

Some, some people do. So I also [00:51:00] don’t wanna say don’t take courses, um, but it’s certainly not an obligation, um, to do so. Wonderful. I know that eases some minds of people who graduated and have work experience of, you know, 10, 15 years. And they’re just like, listen, you know, I, I messed up, but I I’m a different person.

Like you said, you know, we all have different circumstances that can affect how we do during our undergrad, but as long as you’re taking the steps necessary. And as long as you know, I always say our faculty just wants to make sure that, that you can perform well when you enter the degree, you know, we don’t want you to struggle.

We just wanna make sure that that you’re gonna be able to, to still succeed while going through. And I think that’s the most important thing. Yep. And that that’s the way you just put it is, is perfect. And, and I just wanna reiterate that it, the. The, the evaluation of applications is not so much to pass judgment for the sake of passing judgment.

It is to, we want people, we don’t wanna waste your time and, and, and we want you to succeed. And so we’re trying to get a gauge on whether [00:52:00] you are. In a position to succeed. And that’s again, why the statement of purpose is important because you can help us by saying here is why I’m in a position to succeed.

And so take advantage of that opportunity, um, if you can to do so. Thank you. And the last question I have before we wrap things up. So if anyone has any additional questions, feel free to go ahead and pop ’em in wanna respect everyone’s time this afternoon. Um, but the last, if you could explain a little bit on what students can expect in like a typical week.

So I think earlier you discussed, there may be some lectures. There may be some assignments, but could you give an again, this isn’t gonna be the same for every single course, but an idea of what students can expect as far as are there assignments, discussion posts, exams, quiz. Kind of what they’re looking at.

Yep. So, um, it varies, but let me, it varies greatly. Um, but let me give you a couple examples if I can, or, or two examples just to, to illustrate, um, in. Econometrics that’s a core class. So I’ll, I’ll pick that one as a core class [00:53:00] and I’ll do an elective. And that, that might give you a nice representation of the different ways.

Um, it happens in a, in the, so these are eight week classes, so they’re called sessions. They’re eight weeks. And so for econometrics, the way it structures is there’s a weekly quiz. And that weekly quiz is self-paced and UN. All right. And so you get it, it’s, it’s marked, but it’s not, doesn’t count towards your grade and you can retake it.

And the purpose of that quiz is kind of as a checkpoint to say, I’ve looked at the material now, can I get a hundred percent on this quiz? Not because we’re counting the grade for the grade sake, but to internalize the material, make sure you have, and you can retake it until you get a hundred. You do have to, you do have to complete the quiz to move on.

So that is the requirement in the class. But again, the it’s, the purpose is for you to learn. That’s the very purpose of it to do what to assess, whether for self-assessment, whether you need to go back and look at certain material or reach out to the professor, then you have a [00:54:00] midterm exam at the halfway point.

So week four and then a final exam. All right. And that is the, the structure of that class. In addition to. Short problem sets. And I think in that class, there’s I might be misstating it, but I wanna say there’s like five or six problem sets. So short problem sets and, and all these things reinforce one another.

So you’re doing the problem sets. You’re taking these quizzes on your own to make sure you’re reinforcing things. Then you have the two midterms. And so that’s, that’s more along the lines of a traditional. Class structure, right? That you would, that you would have even on the ground, you’d have some kind of weekly assessment.

You’d have some self-assessments and then exams. Now let me talk about an elective. I’ll talk about my own elective. Since I designed it, I’m very familiar with it and we’re doing it’s running right now. We’re we’re actually heading in the last week right now. That is different. So it’s the market process elective.

Here’s how I have that structured. There’s weekly reading. Videos and engagement. And then students have to post in a discussion forum. They have to, I give prompts each week, discussion prompts and [00:55:00] they have to post at least three comments. They have to respond directly to one of the prompts and that at least two comments engaging the posts of their colleagues.

And this is an opportunity to engage both me. Cause I’m a participant in the discussion form as. As well as their colleagues in the class and interact with them and in really discuss the material. So that’s weekly. They also have to turn in a weekly reflections assignment. So I have a list of questions that about the each week’s readings, um, and they have to type it up each week and submit it and it’s get, it’s not busy work.

It’s meant to provide an opportunity for them to reflect on what they’ve learned. To discuss what they’ve learned and what they think the main takeaways are, but also to express any questions they might have about the material, because then that serves as a useful check for me to, um, know that there’s certain things that either individual students or collect or numerous students are kind of need.

Further clarification on. So that’s weekly. And then for that class, the final [00:56:00] assignment is a writing assignment and it, I, I call it a journal assignment and what the students need to do is every week they need to find two current events and it can be anything that interests them in the world. And they link concepts from the class to write up.

I think it’s 800 to a thousand words. Each one. Each entry and they’re linking the concepts that we’re talking about in class and the themes in class to current events. And so remember, one of the things that I mentioned earlier about this program is we’re, we’re really emphasizing the importance of analytics, engagement, and communication, and this exercise.

What it does is provide a Stu the students opportunities to both learn the conceptual framework, but then to think about how it applies and extends to the actual world. And of course, the, the nice thing about economics is there’s no shortage of topics. So no matter what your top, your, your interests are in the world, there’s something out there on it.

And you have that, that leeway to do it. And if you do this exercise, you realize that all of a sudden you can write an oped, cuz an oped is [00:57:00] 800 to a thousand words. You can do that. You can use the tools of economics then to communicate with the general public, or if you work in a policy, uh, in policy space, a white paper is typically a short analytical paper that takes concepts and applies them to some policy topic.

You already have the foundation of that. And so that’s kind of the vision of that class, which is different than the normal quiz exam type structure. Um, and so that that’s a, a sample of two classes to provide. Kind of some insight on some variation across the structure of it, but also the diversity and uniqueness of it as well.

And so you’ll, you’ll get a different flavor of assessment in each class, but across the program, you’ll have a pretty unique experience. Wonderful. Thank you. And I know we’re at time, but I. No, I’m gonna get this when anyone, whenever anyone watches or if they see it, um, as far as exams. So you mentioned, you know, a midterm and a final, um, are these things that are usually in like a lockdown browser type mode or is it usually kind of a timeline, um, a time [00:58:00] limit, I should say, as far as when students are taking them?

Yeah. So they’re, they’re typically, um, lockdown, um, through, through Blackboard, on with the browser lockdown. OK. And again, I don’t want to. I don’t wanna overstate because there might be, I, I don’t have, I don’t have every syllabus memorized, but usually there’s a timeframe within which you have to take it so you can take it when you wanna take it.

But there’s a window is what I’m, I’m trying to say where within which you can take the exam. And again, the, the purpose is to offer you some flexibility, um, within constraints. Of course, of course. Yes. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Coin for. Joining us this afternoon, sharing a little bit about the program and, and taking your time.

And thank you everyone who was able to join us. Thank you for your questions and participation. That is everything that we have. We’re a little over. So I do apologize, but if you guys have any further questions, need any clarification on anything, please feel free to reach out to us. We are happy to support you in any way possible.

Um, [00:59:00] but I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of their Wednesday.

MS in Health Informatics and Graduate Certificate Transcript

[00:00:00] All righty. So we’re gonna go ahead and get started. Thank you everyone for joining us this evening, we are excited to get started. My name is Mariah, and I’m an admissions representative for the program just here as a resource to give information, answer your questions and walk you through the admissions application process.

If it is something that you decide to move forward with. Just a quick overview of what we are going over today. We are joined by our program director, Dr. Yanu SWAC and assistant professor, Dr. Zakia green Lawson. They will tell us a little bit about themselves and their roles. Unfortunately, Dr. Tak will not be able to attend the entire presentation, but Dr. Green Lawson is extremely knowledgeable about the program. And so she will touch a bit on the program and what the online format consists of as well as answer your questions. Again, I do see that a few of you have been able to get into the chat box and let me know [00:01:00] where you’re joining us from. So feel free to use that as we go throughout the presentation.

If you do have any questions, we will address them towards the end. All righty. So let’s go ahead and get started by hearing a little bit more about our presenters, Dr. TAC, could you share a little bit about your. All right. All right. So I tusk, I am professor of health informatics and director of health informatics program at Mason.

So unfortunately I won’t be able to stay here with you to answer your questions afterwards, Dr. Green will be able to do them in case you need to reach out to me. They’ll be contact information provided if there is something an answered specifically for those that, for example, want to transition to PhD program after your master’s program or some other issues that are beyond what is typically covered in those sessions, I’ll be happy to chat to you afterwards.

I’ve been involved in the program from the very beginning, we essentially designed the program many years ago, health [00:02:00] informatics masters program many years ago. It’s more than a decade since our on ground program was offered in several years. As we are running the online program, we in one of the very few K accredited programs and the only K accredited program in Virginia and in DC area. So it’s actually great to have you in the, in on online here, we’re very proud of the, of our program. We’ll, you’ll see that you can do a lot after, and you can learn a lot and you can do a lot after you graduate from the program. I’ll leave you with the others to answer the questions and provide information.

And I’ll be happy to answer if you reach out to me afterwards by email. Thank you so much for that. Professor Yanus and then professor green Lawson, are you able to share a little bit about yourself with our attendees today? Yes, absolutely. Good evening everyone. Once again, my name is Dr. Z green. It [00:03:00] is with great pleasure to join each and every one of you virtually for the fall open house.

A little bit about myself. I came on board at Mason in 2018, the summer of 2018 reaching. Another year anniversary prior to coming to George Mason, I served in the capacity of the program chair for the health informatics and administration program at the university of Maryland global campus, formerly known as the university of Maryland university campus.

Prior to that, I served in physicians as faculty members within the health information management programs. With other colleges and universities. So I look forward to the opportunity to further interact with each and every one of you. And also the opportunity to answer any questions that you may have at the conclusion of the open house.

Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Dr. Green. Alrighty. One of the [00:04:00] biggest questions that we get when speaking with students is what exactly can they expect from an online program? We definitely discuss this with them through the admissions process, but I always think it’s really powerful to hear from your end.

What can students expect from this masters in health informatics, in the online format? And is this question for me, or is this directed YHA? You wanna start off or I can start while I’m still here. So I talk to lots of students that apply to our program, both online program and on ground program and answer questions.

And there, there are always questions related to what’s informatics and all of those things. And Dr. Green will be able to answer lots of those before, but also why our program is different than why our program is better. And to make it short, what they like to typically say to, to prospective students and those that are in our program actually realize that is that there are lots of programs out there that talks about things.

And we actually do them. [00:05:00] Informatics is a very hands on applied field. In which you can’t just talk about data analytics. You can’t talk about data. You can’t talk about standards. You can’t talk about electronic health record systems and other things you have to know them. You have to get hands on experience.

You have to know how to query the data. You have to know how to build models, to predict patient outcomes. You have to know how to do all of those things. And at the same time, you have to understand why you, why are you doing it? And then how it makes sense in clinical administrative. So what our program does is it teaches you those things.

There are lots of programs out there that can talk about. Tho those things, but our students actually do them. So we are very proud of being very hands on. And actually one of the, I believe one of the more difficult programs, it’s not an easy degree as you’ll see, but this is the degree that will actually give you the skills that make you employable and make you really healthy informatics expert.

Once you graduate, there is lot of confusion out there between what is [00:06:00] health informatics? What is health it, what is health information management? And so on health informatics is the, the. At all of, at, at the heart of all of those things. And again, I’ll have Dr. Green talk about those differences nuances, but I think my time is up because I do have to teach, actually right now I have an online class, which I’m, which I’m starting in five minutes.

Good luck. And let me have Dr. Green continue. Thank you. I’ll take it away from there. So again, just piggybacking on what was just shared with you. One of the things I definitely agree with and can test to is that this program is going to test you. It’s going to push you to limit beyond what you. Know that you are capable of, but at the end of the day, you’re gonna come out competent and overqualified to serve in a capacity as a health informatic.

One of the things, again that you just heard [00:07:00] as well, this program provides a healthy blend of theory and practice where once again, you’re going to. Roll up your sleeves. You’re gonna get your hands dirty and really learn what is health informatics about the databases and the different systems and building systems and programming and things to that nature.

Where again, it’s one thing to read about it, but it’s another thing to truly be able to say, oh yeah, I had experience with this. Um, I had a project, we developed a database or things to that nature. So this is an exciting opportunity. And I look forward to seeing students matriculate through the program.

Again, you’re going to be pushed to your limits, but it’s for your benefit at the end of the day, when you walk across that stage again, you’re gonna be competent and more than qualifi. To apply for positions. And or if you have one foot in the door in terms of working currently within the industry, you’re gonna be well prepared to move up the ladder [00:08:00] with your employer.

Um, also piggyback into one of the questions that F. Dr. Watu was in the process of answering the difference between health informatics and health information management health informatics is more so the brain child from the it standpoint, health informatics are building the systems that are housed and utilized greatly upon within the healthcare industry.

These systems that are built and managed by health informatics is what’s used by healthcare administrators, health information management professionals, which takes the information for further processing, such as for billing and coding purposes. And I’m speaking in terms of medical billing and coding, which initiates the reimbursement for.

Procedures for services basically rendered within a healthcare industry. So health information management is the safeguard of patient [00:09:00] information. Health informatics is the brain child, the oversight of building systems and databases that are used within a healthcare industry, which is the easiest way to differentiate between the two.

Thank you so much for sharing that. Dr. Green, we’ll just go on our next. Slide. So Dr. Green, I note, can you share some more information regarding the specifics of the CU. Yes. So what, before you is the general core curriculum, which I often refer to as the foundation courses. So whether you come in with experience in the healthcare industry, particularly in health informatics, or if you are changing careers and coming in new to the health informatics and healthcare.

This is the foundation that we are intended to provide for you in which you’re going to build upon. So regardless of what concentration, which we’ll discuss in the upcoming slide, you select all [00:10:00] students coming into the program will have that foundation of these courses, such as the intro to health systems.

This is a unique course, which is the. 6 78 because it’s a shared course with health informatics and graduate students within the health administration program. Another course, for example, is a shared course is health, perhaps six 70 introduction to health informatics. So again, this is one of those unique things about our program.

Or may I say one of the unique features of the program is that you’re gonna start off taking courses with graduate. Students in both the health informatics, as well as the health administration program, before our students began to branch off into your selected concentrations. As I mentioned with the program concentrations, the most well known concentration, and this was the original one offered when we rolled out the [00:11:00] online option is the health data.

This concentration it’s for those that definitely has that king sense or desire to really learn more about, again, the techno technological aspect of health informatics. You’re gonna take courses on analytics, machine learning. Courses on data science courses on clinical vocabulary, et cetera. So if you have a strong desire to fully learn more about the informatics or the technological aspect, then this is the core concentration that is recommended for.

The most recent concentration that we have offered is the health informatics management. And once again, this is not health information management. This is a health informatics management. The best way to describe this new concentration [00:12:00] is for students that want a degree in health informatics, but do not want a keen.

Of coursework as it focused on the technological aspect. On the other hand, the health informatics management has a healthy blend of not only some technical courses, but you’re also gonna be taking courses and topics such as project management, legal aspects of the healthcare system. And also organization behavior, which is basically a course that goes into the aspects of overseeing a department, overseeing an organization.

You’ll talk about, for example, various leadership theories and philosophies, et cetera. And this is another course that again is a course that is taught within the health administration program. So once again, if you want a concentration that is solely on the technical emphasis [00:13:00] and the structure, the development, the database, then health analytics, health data analytics will be the rec recommended concentration.

If you want a mix of blend between the technical courses and courses on the administrative side, then the health informatics management concentration may be the best concentration for you. All righty, before we get into our Q and a portion. If you guys do have any questions regarding the next steps, as far as start dates, application, materials, deadlines, anything like that, please reach out to an admissions representative.

You don’t know who your advisor is. I am going to post our mainline number and email in the chat and you should see that coming through right now. So please drop that down and give us a call. We will be happy to assist you in any way when we can address anything that you’re missing, whether that be application fees, start dates or things like that. [00:14:00]

All righty. So I would really like to take advantage of the time that we have with Dr. Green and address any questions specific to the program. I do. I have. A few questions that students sent in previously. But I do see that we have a question that came in the Q and a, so we can start with that. So, Dr. Green, we have a question specific to if a student can work as a clinical informaticist with this degree, or will they need additional training or certifications. And then the follow up question to that is what certifications can they obtain with the. Yes. So the opportunity for employment opportunities, it’s very diverse.

And that’s one of the things Dr. Watu spoke about initially at the start of this event. So you can go into the direction as a clinical informatics with your degree. Now I would recommend if you are aspiring to go into. Field [00:15:00] the data health data analytics concentration will be again, the recommended concentration to put you in the position to apply for positions of the sort in terms of certification.

There’s not a required certification, for example, to complete the program or to even enter the profession. However, we do have a strong relationship with the health information management systems society. And the local chapter and it’s abbreviated as hys. And that’s H I M S S within hymns, there are certifications that students can sit for that will just, again, advance your employment opportunities and something to put down on your resume, et cetera.

But again, to enter the field, you don’t need an actual certification. Okay. Awesome. Thank you so much for clarifying that there was a follow up in regarding the [00:16:00] professional organizations or networking organizations that a student can join relating to this degree as an online student outside of hams. Is there anything else that a student could qualify for or join?

Um, so yes, there is a couple other associations. One is the sister association that aligns closely with the health information management profession and. A Hema, the American health information management association. They have a couple of certifications that do not require students to complete a degree in an actual health information management program.

And some of those include health. There’s a certified health data analyst certification. There are certifications in privacy and security that is interested. Again, these are additional credentials that you can add to your resume, to your CV, to again, better [00:17:00] position you to apply for positions of the sort.

Okay. Thank you so much for that. And then I do have a question that came in prior to the open house. Relating to whether a student is able to sit for the registered health information administrator exam with this program. Is that something that you can answer? Yes, unfortunately, that’s something we’re working on.

So as Dr. Watu mentioned that our program is pay him accredited, it’s accredited as a health informatics program, not in the area of health information management. So at this. Students that complete the program. It’s currently not eligible to sit for the exam, but this is something that we’re working on to extend that offering for students that are coming in with that desire to become registered health information administrator.

Awesome. Thank you so much. We’ll definitely be sure to share that with that student who asked about that. I know that a lot of [00:18:00] students have fears with just online education overall. Mm-hmm in your experience, how does faculty maintain communication with students? Are there office hours available and just, can you demystify some of the concern the student has have about the online format and how it looks.

Yes. So I would definitely say within our program, our faculty are very hands on when it comes to interacting with our students. One of the things for me personally, and with our faculty members that we feel is that we want our students to have the same experience as our traditional students. So when our courses.

To interact with our students. We have live sessions that are scheduled throughout the eight week course, where this is the opportunity to connect with your faculty and fellow classmates on zoom. For real time discussions, demonstrations, Q, and a session covering content, further explaining [00:19:00] excitements, et cetera, which students have found very helpful.

In addition to that, our students are able to connect with your professors doing office hours by phone, by zoom sessions, um, by email. And some of our faculty members use Blackboard collaborate as another means of communication and interacting with students. So once again, the ideal is that you’re going to feel as a regular student, not identified or classified as.

Versus a traditional student, you are a student obtaining the same degree, the same experience and the same quality of education. Awesome. I’m sure that alleviates a lot of the fears that some of our students have. And then more specifically as it relates to just the way the curriculum is delivered, are the lectures are lectures recorded and posted, or do you have more assigned readings or is that entirely faculty and course dependent? [00:20:00] So typically the courses will consist of pre-recorded lectures that are embedded into each week, along with once again, the live sessions, which are real time discussions with students. And then also faculty may assign students to read outside of the live sessions outside of the recorded lectures to read any assigned chapters articles, et cetera.

So it’s a healthy blend of a variety of. Resources. Okay. Awesome. And then we get a few questions regarding the application process and timelines. There’s one that I know that I could answer just regarding. When is a good time to apply. We’re currently accepting applications for the fall and our spring 2023 start is also open at this point.

I did have a student ask particular about choosing the health informatics or data analytics certificate program. So that program is [00:21:00] also available as well. Mm-hmm that does go into another question of, of course we have that certificate program. Is there any. Particular student that’s like the ideal student for the certificate versus the full master’s program, to be honest, there’s no differentiation, but one of the things that I find when I interact with students that are interested or applicants interested in either the two programs, typically the certificate. Many may choose that option. Initially, just the test orders to see if this is something for them that they would like to eventually pursue the degree program.

And so again, some applicants may start off with the certificate again, just to get your feet wet. Test orders. Others may already be in the industry in the profession and do not need a degree to Excel, but may want to learn [00:22:00] some more skillset. Uh, just for the purpose of. Curiosity and sharpen it up their skillsets where again, they’re already working in the industry.

So a degree is not required for promotions or to move up the chain, but they’re just looking to expand, to learn a little bit more and enhance their skillset. Okay, awesome. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And then to piggyback off of that question, what experience do you guys look for in applicants that are.

So again, the program does not discriminate where you have to have experience in the healthcare, particularly in the health informatic industry. If you are looking to switch careers, that will be definitely considered upon review of your application. One of the things I could definitely say that we look for.

Whether you have experience, or if you don’t have experience, is students that have on your transcripts [00:23:00] evidence of taking courses in statistics, it courses, and it doesn’t have to be an advanced level it courses, but we look for that because that helps us determine if the student will be able to pass or Excel within those foundational courses before merging into your core courses, that will be.

Your concentration courses. Also, we have a bridge course, and this is created by Dr. Tuhi for students that have a background. And for students that do not have a background. Upon a mission. Some students will be admitted with the recommendation of completing the bridge course. This is a, a self-paced course where you will have access with the, or to the course throughout your entire experience within the program that will help students with building those foundational computational skill, these statistical analysis, et cetera, to help.

Once again, [00:24:00] be successful in those foundational courses and ultimately within your core concentration courses. Okay, perfect. And then we did get a question to continue off of that one. If a student is asking if they have experience in statistics, but not in it or vice versa, is that detrimental to their application.

There’s a number of other factors that are taken in considerations, such as GPA. What are your career goals and your plans and things to that nature? What I will say is I encourage everyone to apply because again, it’s not just one factor that is considered for a mission into lead program. So go ahead and apply to the program.

Make sure you submit all the required documents and a representative will be reviewing your documents to make a decision to OIT in the pro omit you into the program. But once again, We have the bridge course, which is [00:25:00] helpful for those that may not have the experience or a wealth of experience based on previous courses, work experience to be considered for a mission.

Thank you so much for clarifying that next question is going a little bit back to the health informatics data analytics certificate program. Um, student wants to know in particular, if those credits transfer into the master’s. Yes, ma’am absolutely. So that’s why I mentioned one of the examples. Students will test the waters and if they like the experience and it confirms that this is the path for them, your courses that you complete for the certificate transfers over into the degree program.

Awesome. And then we do have a question regarding the programming languages that are taught in the program. If you can shed some light on that. Yes. So I don’t teach those particular courses, but what I can say, it’s a [00:26:00] variety of different program languages. Many of our faculty members that do teach those courses, they are well connected within the industry.

So they have opportunities to bring in additional data. Into your courses to, again, elevate yours, where once again, as Dr. Tusks and myself stated earlier in the beginning, you’re really going to learn and it’s not reading, but it’s hands on experience with data sets. For example, one of our faculty members.

Recently completed a research study with the national Institute of health and was given access to data sets that was basically shared with our students to again, enhance the learning experience. So in addition to that other program, languages, clinical vocabulary, such as HL seven, Cetera, ICD 10 is discussed within your foundational courses, but again, it’s a wide variety [00:27:00] of what you can expect within the program.

At the end of the day. Once again, you’re gonna come out competent and more than qualified to apply for any position that you desire within the. All righty. Perfect. And then we don’t have any other questions that came in, but I do have a few myself that I know we typically get, we do get a lot of questions surrounding the capstone and how it’s presented and as well as any sort of, how exactly does it help students to obtain any job opportunities or opportunities to network?

And that’s definitely a good question that I can answer because I oversee the capstone courses. So how my capstone work is split into two courses. You have a pre capstone and the actual capstone course within the pre capstone, the main major emphasis is deciding which route you’re going to select to complete your capstone.

And when I say which route I’m speaking in terms of traditionally working within an organization or a. E [00:28:00] with a preceptor. The second option is collaborating with a faculty member within an ongoing research project. And the third recent option that ironically we offered the start of 2020, which was pre COVID, is the evidence based re research option, which is basically a self-study option where you’re devising a problem and then turn around and conducting the research to devise solutions to that problem.

Those are the three options that students will have to select from, in terms of how you’re going to move forward in the actual capstone course to complete the course requirements. Also with free capstone, you will be introduced to other aspects such as working closely with university career services for professional and career development.

This includes, for example, resume [00:29:00] reviews, mock interview preparations, putting together your professional portfolio that you could take along with you, as you are embarking in within your career search. And once you get into seven 90, this is the focus where you’re going to actually work on your capstone presentation.

At the end of the seven 90 capstone course, we have been conducting our capstone presentations virtually by zoom and also have been merging our traditional students with our online students as well. And last but not least before I forget to mention within your capstone experience in the pre capstone course, you’ll also be required to complete the comprehensive examination, which is considered a final of the final exam.

So it’s gonna test you on everything that you learned in the program for, from your first [00:30:00] course, to your final course in the program. This comprehensive examination is a combination. Multiple choice questions as well as a written synopsis. Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. We did get a clarifying question.

I think a student did miss the first capstone option that you mentioned. Yes. So the first capstone option is the traditional option where students will reach out to facilities. To basically land an opportunity to complete your capstone project within an organization. For example, we have students that completed it within a hospital, the traditional hospital setting.

We’ve had students working with public health entities. So that’s the first option, which is the traditional option followed by collaborating with a faculty member. and also this is not just limited to Mishi faculty, but our students have collaborated with faculty within our nursing program, the health [00:31:00] admin program, social work, et cetera.

And then once again, the third option, which is a self pace option is the evidence based research option. So those are the three current capstone options that students will have to select from, in order to complete your capstone project. Thank you so much for clarifying that mm-hmm um, and then I always get a lot of questions from students as far as how that may lead, how that may lead to some opportunities mm-hmm do you have like any examples or anecdotal examples of students who have obtained positions through their capstone projects?

Yes, absolutely. Each semester we have students that go through the capstone with the traditional method, and we’ve had students success stories where it was a match made in heaven and the student work was impressive enough for the preceptor or [00:32:00] the organization. To turn around and offer the student a job opportunity.

Also, on the other hand, we’ve had students that had the opportunity to complete their capstone with their employer. However, it has to be in a different department. So you cannot. Complete your capstone with your current employer under the guidance of your current supervisor. And in return, we’ve had students that had the opportunity to be offered promotions, to transition into that the another department based on their capstone experience.

Awesome. That’s always great to hear for students cuz you know, at the end of the day they are, they’re looking to learn and like you said, be prepared for those higher level. Positions. And we did get a follow up question outside of the capstone. Are there any internship opportunities? And if so, who can a student contact for those opportunities?

Yes. So we have our Missy student learning community [00:33:00] and within that community, any internship opportunities, any job fairs, anything with student related, we communicate that with our students. Job postings that faculty or myself come across we’ll post those within the learning community. In addition, the faculty members within the program will also share positions with students.

And then that’s going back to pre capstone. That’s one of the reasons why in pre capstone, our students are required to connect with university career services in which they host job fairs on campus. Online as well and post positions related to the various degree programs. Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that.

And then we don’t have any other questions that came in. I have one more that I have on my list. We have some students, and I know we, you discussed that the application process is one where the committee’s looking at the student holistically. But are there [00:34:00] any recommendations you can give to a student who GPA may be below that requirement?

Would that be like taking classes or getting more work experience? What are you typically looking for in those students? I would definitely say a little bit of both. Um, and also for students in that scenario for what I’ve seen with applicants with GPAs, less than the minimum requirement, students or applicants will be required to write a letter, basically explaining the rationale behind your current GPA.

And what is your plan of action if admitted into the program to say, or succeed within the program and ultimately raise your GPA. Awesome. Yes. And I think you’re referring to our addendum. So mm-hmm, , um, that’s the opportunity that students have to, like you said, take that time, explain what the circumstances were around that.

And at this point, you know how you’re gonna be successful within the program as well, because the end of the day, the faculty just [00:35:00] wanna make sure that they’re setting students up for success. Absolutely righty. Awesome. So we don’t have any other questions that have come in at this point. So this is our final call for questions again, if anybody has any additional questions that come up after the open house, I’ve shared that information for our admissions representative. So feel free to reach out to us. We’re more than happy to answer that. I’d like to thank Dr. Green for joining us today and answering all of those questions. I really appreciate it.

So I will go ahead at this point, since we don’t have anything else coming in, we can go ahead. Oh. We got one more question. One last minute question. I, we did have a question coming, come in regarding the admissions process. If it’s like for someone who decides to do the certificate, I believe it is essentially the same application process.

Uh, correct me if I’m wrong, Dr. Green, but it is the same materials that are required. So to give you [00:36:00] guys a sneak peek, if you will. So we are, they’re still gonna be looking for you to have bachelors with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and like basic level computer science, technology, math, and stats experience.

Specific documents that are included in the application will include an updated resume, an experienced statement where you’ll just list the experience that you have in those areas that we’ve already discussed a goal statement, and there’ll be a much more detailed prompt that your admissions representative can provide to you.

Two professional letters of recommendation. Your transcripts. And then again, that GPA denim is a supplemental document. If your GPA is below that 3.0 requirement, but don’t worry if you weren’t able to get all of that down, definitely just reach out to your admissions representative and they can share a bit more details about those additional documents.

All righty. Awesome. So it looks [00:37:00] like that is it for all of our questions. So like I said, I’ll go ahead. We’re going to start closing out the virtual open house. And then if you guys have any questions, please utilize the conduct information that I put into the chat again. Thank you, Dr. Green for taking the time to talk to all of our attendees today.

And so everyone have a great evening and it was nice talking to you all. Thank you. Take care it one you’re bye.

MS in Learning Design and Technology Transcript

[00:00:00] All right. So joining us today, we have the faculty here with us in the program. We have Dr. Sharon Williams, van Rouge, Dr. Nita, Deba, Dr. Brenda Banan and Dr. Douglas Wilson. So who wants to start in introducing themselves today? Well, I’ll go first and, uh, it’s van Roy, not van Rouge, but okay. I’ve heard worse.

No problem. Good evening, everyone. I’m Dr. Sharon Williams VRO associate professor, but also the academic program coordinator, or basically the go-to person when it comes to how things are organized and run, et cetera. In the program I’ve been with Mason for 15 years, uh, in this part, excuse me, in this particular program.

In addition to that, I got my PhD. From Mason as well, or my second PhD, those interested in learning my tortured [00:01:00] academic life feel free to do so on the C D website under faculty profiles in any event, glad to be here and welcome to everyone. Now I’ll hand it off to Dr. DACH. Hello everyone. I’m N Deba and it’s really great to have you here tonight.

We’re excited about sharing. All the information about the masters of science in learning design and technology. It’s an awesome program. And the four faculty that you’re seeing on the screen today, we are the four core faculty that teach in the masters of science, in learning design and technology, and sorry that we can’t see you.

This has been set up as a webinar. So unfortunately we can’t see you or have you speak, but I’ve been at Mason for, this is my 23rd year and it’s been a good run. I am on campus right now, actually I’m in my office on campus. So hopefully if you apply to the program and you get in, I know Vernell is also an employee [00:02:00] as mentioned in the check.

So maybe you can even get to meet us in person. At some point, even though the program is totally online. I got my PhD in instructional systems design at Penn state a long time ago. But I love to teach in this program. I teach the advanced instructional design class, as well as the mid program point trends and trends.

And in the field, I also teach the end program point course, which is all about setting up your own niche in the field and coming up with a personal identity package. And I like to do research on online learning and eLearning as well as I’m very interested in digital pedagogy or the intersection between pedagogy and technology.

So I’m very much interested in the affordances of technologies and how can we leverage them to design effective training and learning environments. And [00:03:00] I’m currently writing a book with one of our graduates from our doctoral program about personalized learning experie. We work a lot with our students.

And we also have other programs. I am the director of the division of learning technologies that include several programs, including the one you’re interested in as well as a PhD specialization in learning technologies, design research, and also the programs for K-12 teachers, like the learning technologies in schools programs.

So we’re happy that you are here and I’ll pass it over to Dr. Bann. To introduce yourself. Good evening. I’m Brenda Bannon. I’m a professor in the learning design and technology program. I also teach in the learning design research doctoral program that we have L TDR learning technologies, design research, as well as the master’s program.

I’ve been here probably the longest at 26 years in. We are really happy. You’re here and you’re [00:04:00] hearing a bit about us, but really a lot of the program is about you. We look forward to learning more about you as well, just to round it out. My research interests, I went to Penn state along with Netta.

That’s where we met many years ago and now work together. And some of my research interests are really emerging technologies like internet of things, VR, AR. Artificial intelligence and different types of emerging technologies in human-centered design, coming together, user experience, design processes.

I’m very excited to hear people’s backgrounds and hear what they’re interested in and leverage that in our teaching and in our program and wherever you are and whatever, if you wanna transition or. You want to grow your skills in the same position. This is a good place for you. We take you from [00:05:00] wherever you are to where you want to be.

Happy to see you here. And, uh, look forward to getting to know you in some of the courses and I will pass it to Dr. Doug Wilson. I thank you, Brenda. Thank you everybody. And welcome students. I’m Dr. Doug Wilson and I’m the newest member of the team been at George Mason. Now about 10 months. I think give or take, I teach online in the program.

And in terms of transitioning from where you are now to where you want to be more than likely I’m going to be the first instructor, the first professor that. You have in one of your courses. So I teach all of the I’ll call. ’em the fundamentals courses, instructional design. We used to call it. Some of us still call it instructional design, but it also goes by a few other names, but I think the heart of it, the DNA of what we do and what we teach is instructional design.

And. One of the things that you’re gonna notice almost right away, [00:06:00] should you join us? And this is a really great thing is that we have this phenomenal list serve and on it are published very significant jobs in the field. I think it’s important coming into a master’s program and. Dropping some cash on your education.

You should know that there’s a definite lean toward employment possibilities. So you can, you can count on me and the others to share those opportunities with you. And so I’m very interested in instructional design. That’s what I teach. I also teach the adult. Course here. And there’s a new course on the horizon here, which is all about augmented reality and virtual reality.

And so a lot of my interests in the new day of instructional design meshes well with what some of the other professors are doing, especially Dr. Bannon. So I wanna welcome [00:07:00] you. I’m looking forward to your questions. It’s an exciting time to be in this field and. I hope you like what we have to share with you this evening.

Okay. Okay. I’ll take this slide. Someone wrote in the, on the chat is instructional design the same as learning design because the program is called learning design and technology. There are as many titles and labels for this profession, as there are people doing it. If you look at the job ads that Doug referred to earlier, you’ll see.

Basically three different categories. You have designers, developers, whether it be instructional design, learning, development, UX, design, social learning, and so forth. As you see in the visual, then you’ve also got consultants. These consultants are not necessarily people who have their own business and hand out their sh hang out their shingle of which there are [00:08:00] some, but they are contractors or the gig workers.

So they are designers who. Contract themselves out for particular projects to organizations and they can cover things such as learning strategy, learning and performance, educational software, or even corporate trainers. And then the third category you’ll see in the job ads are at the managerial level.

These are folks who have been in the field for at least three years, if not longer. And they can be directors of learning and development directors of training and performance. They can be senior analysts, senior designers. Project managers and so forth. So there are a lot of titles, but as Doug mentioned earlier, the essence, the core is the same.

What comes on top of that of course, are the application of the new technologies and techniques, the focus of Dr. [00:09:00] Bannon and Dr. Deb box research and business skills, which is my area of expertise having come out of the corporate environment. Next slide, please. Ah, this is my favorite as an ex-business person and a confessed capitalist.

You wanna know how much money you can make doing this job. And I I’m sure that’s very important to those of you coming out of the education field, which traditionally is sorely underpaid. A pay is an excellent website for tracking a variety of professions, occupations, and what you can make nationally.

So what you’re looking at on this slide are national averages. So for example, if you are living or working for an organization in San Francisco, for example, you’re gonna make a lot more than somebody working in Biloxi, Mississippi. But the national averages so that someone just coming out of the gate with the ink still wet [00:10:00] on their degree and no experience can start at approximately 53 K and over time up to 75 K.

Again, these are national averages. Next slide. What you can do on that same site. Is complete the career path planner that allows you to plug in not only where you wanna go in terms of the track, whether it be design management. Or just being a regular trainer, but also the geographic region of the United States.

So you can see what you would make working in the Northeast region, going the traditional instructional designer, instructional design manager track versus going to the training and development track. Next slide. Oh, I’ll hand this off to Dr. DACH. Great. Thanks Dr. VRO Williams VRO. So, um, [00:11:00] we have a lot of partners in the Northern Virginia area and beyond, and as Dr. Williams VRO mentioned, you can, there’s so many labels. For the positions that you might acquire a after you graduate or even before you graduate. And these are just some of the examples of the companies that hire instructional designers. And they’re very interested in instructional designers or learning designers or user experience designers that have graduated from our program because we have direct connections with.

And we have quite a few graduates who are already working at Ws Allen Hamilton at S a I C at ManTech at management concepts as Smithsonian. So probably when you looked at our website and you got interested in this program, you know, that this program focuses primarily on government corporate sector, nonprofit.[00:12:00]

We, we don’t focus on the K-12 space. We have a very different program that focuses on the K-12 space. This program also, you could work in higher education, so you have a lot of options. And these are just some examples that we partner with and they send us. Jobs or retirement as Dr. Wilson just mentioned, we have a great list serve that these people and others and our alums are constantly funneling specific jobs in the field to this list serve.

And you can subscribe to this list, serve at any time, and then you’ll just be receiving. It’s not you. I’m dating a few postings a week. What our industry is calling for. And as Dr. William lo mentioned, there are quite a few job openings for instructional designers, but they can also be labeled as learning designers, user experience, designers, learning, experience designers.

And we’ll talk about the program and the skills [00:13:00] that you are gonna learn. So these, this is just a sample of the companies that we’ve worked with. Thank you. Next slide. You want me to go on with? Yeah, go on. You can talk about the courses. Okay. So as you could see from this slide, we have a program that is 30 credits.

We have 23 credits of four courses. Those are the courses on the left hand side. And then we have seven credits of elected choices. The you also, when you apply. You will see three options in the application system. Hopefully the first option is if you only wanna get a master’s of science and learning design and technology.

Because maybe you’re not interested in the eLearning certificate or you already have certificates or you’ve already been working as an eLearning developer. So you might just say, I just want the master’s of science. So that’s one option 30 credits. Then you’ll see an option where you can get both [00:14:00] for the same number of credits.

So you don’t have to pay anything extra, but it’ll look good on your resume. If you graduate with both the masters of science. In learning design and technology, as well as the e-learning certificate. There’s just one course difference between the com the combined two versus the masters only, but it is the same number of credits.

And it’ll take the same number of semesters for you to complete this combination. And then maybe you already have a master’s degree. And I saw from the chat that some of you already have a master’s degree, and maybe you don’t. Commit to a full 30 credit masters program. So you might say. Maybe, I just want to get the eLearning certificate.

So you can also apply to the learning technology certificate, eLearning, uh, specialization. And that is only 15 credits. And again, it’s pretty much the same courses, uh, as the masters and as the combined program, but it is [00:15:00] the eLearning certificate. So it’s credits now the core courses on the left hand side, most of them are three credits.

So for example, 7 0 5, 7 0 4. That Dr. Wilson talked about, and he’s primarily teaching these fundamental courses are three credits, each 7 0 6, which is Dr. Williams and Roy and specialty is also three credits. Seven 30 is a, typically a course that I teach is also three credits. And then we have 7 30, 2, 7 52 that typically Dr. Bannon teache. These are user experience design courses. Each of them is also three credits, as well as our analytics course perspectives on learning analytics, which is huge in our field at the moment. That is also three credits. However, the 6 0 1 7 0 1, as you see at the bottom of that list are only one credit.

So the commitment is not as big as the. Three credit courses. And on the right hand side, you will see the electives. Most of our elective options are two credits [00:16:00] each. So again, the load is not the same as the three credits and you get to choose with your advisor. Every one of you will be assigned one of us as your coach, as your advisor.

So you will be communicating with us. We will be approached. We will help. Design the program in a way that fits your schedule as well as help you select the electives. For example, in 5 73, if you’re interested in project management, then that would be a great elective for you to take. And it’s two credits if you like web accessibility and design, because you’re interested in 5 0 8 compliance and how to make your training accessible to all the diverse audiences, then you will do 5 26.

We also have a broad course. eLearning design applications. That is also for two credits. We offer articulate storyline, which is a very popular tool in the field that is used to design eLearning. And also we offer Adobe captivate among others. When they become the popular, we also offer a wine credit [00:17:00] course in online teaching essentials.

That is our. One credit elective. And we also offered the course that Dr. Wilson is gonna be teaching this fall, which is a two credit course on AR VR, mixed realities. And sometimes we offer that course in gaming applications. Now to answer your questions, yes, the, this is this program. Whichever option you choose is designed to be completed in two years because most of our students work full-time and study part-time.

So it is designed to be completed in two years based on taking six credits a semester. So again, you will work with your advisor to craft your plan. Once you accepted in the program. Now, all of these courses are 100% online, 100% a synchron. You do get office hours synchronously with faculty, if you would like to of course meet synchronously also with other students.

And all of our courses are eight weeks, seven and a half or [00:18:00] eight weeks. So you might be taking, let’s say E D I T 7 0 5 with Dr. Wilson. If you start this fall from August 22nd to October something, and then you are done with that course. And then from October something to December, you will take the 7 0 4.

So. You don’t have to take them like concurrency, but you can, if you have more time and you would like to add an elective on top of one of those courses, and you think you have time to commit to doing, let’s say. We into five credits within an eight week session. We will talk with you about that again, one on one with your advisor, but typically we have structured the sequence of the courses so that you’re typically taking one course at a time in seven and a half week to eight week time frame.

Now we could also take courses at the summer and we usually advise you to take some of those electives in the summer. And then the following fall, for example, in your second year of coursework, you might be taking the 6 0 1, which is one [00:19:00] credit along with another two credits elective. So there’s a lot of flexibility here.

Now, the core courses you have to take them as is there’s no, you have to complete 23 credits of core courses for the masters of science and you need seven prints of elective. If you’re doing the e-learning certificate, then you will have to take a course. We call ed I T six 11, which means you will only have a choice of two elective courses, which is fine as well.

Of course, if you can afford. You wanna take more than 30 credits you can, but we try to help you fix everything in within 30 credits. So there is some flexibility. The sequences sequencing is pretty cool. It’s a bit accelerated, right? So it’s fast. It’s fast paced. It’s accelerated, it’s all done through our Blackboard management learning management system at George Mason university.

We don’t do tests. We don’t do. It’s mainly project based, but there is some deliverable almost every week and the deliverables are usually on a Sunday. For example, you might need to participate in an [00:20:00] online discussion. You might be working with a group to come up with a design artifact, a project, so you might need to complete something by the next week.

You might need to write a blog based on the readings. You might need to do a presentation. So all of the assignments in those courses are. Design assignments. You’ll have a design element in pretty much every course that you are taking, but it is structured to every course is eight weeks. So it’s accelerated and a hundred percent online.

So I think I’ve covered pretty much everything. Sharon, can you, yeah, I just like to follow up on a question that Heather posed in the chat and the point about the sequencing and the flexibility issue. If you are a Mason employee, depending upon your terms of employment, you may only be allowed to take one course for the entire semester.

So for example, if you’re in the ma, if you signed up for the masters, you could only take 7 0 5 [00:21:00] in the fall, fall one, but nothing in fall, too, cuz you don’t get compensation for that. Similarly, people who are on financial aid or who are on various. veterans affairs funding programs may have a different sequencing.

So it’s important when you have to have your first meeting with your advisor, as soon as you get your acceptance letter, have your a Mason email and ID. And talk through what your work circumstances are, cause that will determine your course load throughout the program. So that addresses Heather’s question about, can you take more than one class at a time?

Again, it depends on what your circumstances are, what your workload is in terms of your occupation and what requirements, any funding bodies. May have, if you’re being funded. Okay. Next slide please. All the competencies. Okay. I’ll take that one. Our program [00:22:00] is built upon the stand international board of standards for training performance and instruction or.

If has defined what, or it’s from the organization’s point of view from the hiring manager’s point of view. So what are the things that are expected of someone who is coming into the field and they have basically. Five standard areas, dealing with professional foundations, which are covered in Dr. Wilson’s courses, planning and analysis, which is touched on in just about all of our other courses, design and development, evaluation, and implementation. And management. So those are the core areas. And within those areas are sub areas. When you sign up for the program and start taking courses, you will see the course learning outcomes mapped to specific IPY [00:23:00] competencies.

So you’ll know that what you are learning in each class directly relates to what employers are looking for when they hire somebody. In the field. Next slide please. Oh, that was quick. Whoever is joining with us. And if you are interested in moving forward and applying to either the masters or the standalone certificate program, or the combination of both, please feel free to reach out to either your admissions representative to discuss the application process and deadlines.

But if you do not have one yet or are unsure of who your admissions representative is, You can call our main office and I’ll post the number in our chat momentarily, and we’ll be happy to assist you. In the meantime, if you have specific questions, please type them in the chat. I’ll read them out so everybody can hear them.

And my colleagues will re will offer a reply. Okay. Someone asked, do we have to make the decision right away? Or can we start with the [00:24:00] certificate and add the Ms. Later, if we decide to do that, Dr. DBA, you wanna take that? Sure. You can start with the certificate. Absolutely. If you decide, then you wanna continue with the masters.

The only glitch is that you would need to submit another application and they’re gonna charge you another $75. We can try to waive that $75 application fee. I believe the application fee is still $75, but if you apply to the certificate, first, you pay the application fee, start with that, and that’s fine.

And then you wanna continue with the masters, all 15 credits that you have taken in. Uh, certificate will apply to the master. You’d only have to, uh, complete another 15 credits, but you would need to, you would need to submit another application. That doesn’t mean your, your stuff will be in the system. So it would be much easier to submit another application, but you’re gonna get charged another $75.

Now there’s 75. Benell [00:25:00] asked isn’t the application fee waived for employees. I believe it is because it’s a different process that you have to go through. So you need to check with your supervisor and HR to find out how that works, but you do have to fill out an application. Other questions, the deadline for applying to start in the fall semester, by the way, guys is August 1st.

So we are now. July 14th. So if you’re really interested, whether it’s the only the master’s program or both, or the master, sorry, the eLearning or both, or just eLearning or just the master, you would need to please submit your application by August 1st, right? Sharon? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And then it takes a few days and then they funnel the applications to us, to each, for, and then we evaluate them and.

We try to process them as quickly as possible because classes start in the fall on August 22nd, Monday the 22nd to take time for you guys to set up your [00:26:00] email and etc. Typically what time does a class start? There’s no start or end time. This is an asynchronous 100% online program. And that’s the beauty of it.

It’s like you just log into the course and then you’ll see what’s very well laid out. There will be instructions. The instructor will send announcements every Monday through your emails, through the Blackboard learning management system. And we will have usually office hours, maybe the first or second day or during the first week to answer any questions we might have, but there is no start or end time.

This is 100% asy. I’ll just jump in there. Vernell. A lot of our courses sometimes go from a start on a Monday then to the, to Sunday. Right? So you can plan your schedule often. There’ll. You’ll need to post something by Wednesday and then you’ll need to reply to others postings by Sunday. So there’s certain kind of patterns [00:27:00] like that, that you get used to asynchronously participating in the online course.

At least for mine, I often will put out a new week’s content on a Monday. And if there’s a major assignment, it’ll be due on that Sunday, that following Sunday. There’s lots of teacher, student interactions there that many of them are asynchronous, of course, but you end up really having to think, really having to work and think through your colleagues posting and your peer posting, and the projects are very interesting and creative and allow you to.

Think deeply about who you are as a professional and building your skills along with working with your peers in some courses, more intensively. So it is, they are designed to be intriguing, engaging and interactive. Yeah. There’s a follow up question on that. Is there [00:28:00] teacher, student interaction, Brenda, you wanna finish off on that one?

Yeah, we all spend a lot of our time really facilitating posting. Synthesizing discussions, trying to bring the points together, trying to emphasize certain things, trying to highlight things. We do it in different ways. There’s lots of prepared materials, but there’s also on the fly generative thinking, connecting the dots for students.

And, and that all happens in, in, in these online courses. It’s done in different ways in slightly different ways, in different courses and different styles, but it’s very interactive and it’s challenging for both a student and for the instructor. Trust me on this. So if I may also continue off of Dr. Ben and.

These are not like self-based courses. No, the instructor is very involved. We, as Dr. Badden mentioned, we do all the grading. [00:29:00] We, we provide a lot of feedback as you know, in online learning. So there’s a lot of learner instructor interaction, but again, you’ll be also become familiar with the models, effective models of online learning.

So there are there’s learner content interaction. Learner interaction. There’s learner group interaction, there’s learner instructor interaction. So there’s all kinds of interactions embedded in these courses and they’re live courses. So it’s not just. Maybe Dr. Wilson could talk about his perspective on that too.

I think it would be good to hear from all of us and what we think. Sure. Dr. Bannon, I’ll quickly add that. What you’re hearing described is very real world for our field, which basically means since all of the instructors who are speaking tonight, designed courses or trainings, Set up what you’re actually going to be engaging with.

You’re gonna be able to, and our hope is you’re gonna be able to take these experiences and [00:30:00] immediately you won’t even be done with the certificate or the program yet the master’s degree, you can immediately apply these skill sets and this terminology and this language to your current job or to the future job that you want to do.

As Dr. Bannon said, and others have also shared, it’s not pounding nails. The program demands that you. Invest yourself and demonstrate some creativity, right? We all know that there’s some big problems in the world. There’s some big organizational issues at some corporations. And oftentimes the learning experience designer or the instructional designer is the only person at the table who has not only the chops, the skill sets to use different pieces of technology, but also.

The theoretical basis and the evidence basis to [00:31:00] make decisions that sometimes in a corporate environment, I, there could be tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars or more involved in the training. So you really are in a great position, not only to create some of these courses and to create trainings, but to assume leadership role.

I’ve seen it happen with my own students who come in and I’m oftentimes blown away. By the ill structured problems that we give them and they spin it into gold in it. It’s just amazing to watch the people blossom in the program. So that can be you other questions for us. I see the ones in the chat have already been answered.

Anything else? I will just say. I think Doug said it perfectly, it’s a valuable program and it becomes what you make of it. There’s lots of alumni connections. There’s lots of faculty connections. There’s lots of professional connections to be made. So it becomes a community. You are a part of us, and that’s [00:32:00] really important.

And no matter where you are in the world, you are a part of us. And we take that very seriously and we’re very committed to what we do. Um, We very much look forward to having you here with us. Other thoughts or comments, Dr. Deba, would you have any closing remarks you’d like to make? No. Thank you, Sharon.

I’m good. I think we’ve covered everything. The questions. Yes. Heather, you could reach out to Lauren or. Or that number or Lauren, could you direct Heather as to how she should approach applying? Yeah. Heather, if you’re already working with one of your admissions representatives, feel free to reply to one of their emails and set up a conversation to go over the, a admissions requirements for the application.

Or if you have not been connected with someone yet you can reach out to the phone number. I provide it above, but I can provide it again as well. That’s right, Heather. [00:33:00] Now recognize your name. We did speak great. So Heather’s asking again for the number. I think you have to go up into the chat there. There it is.

Yeah. And if you guys have any other questions, be, feel free to email us as well as faculty and address some of your questions and we’d be happy to have you on board with us. So thanks for taking the time. The number it’s posted in. The chat is 7 0 3 3 4 8 5 0 0 6. And, uh, Lauren, you put it under hosts and panelists, not under everyone.

Oops, apologies analogy. Isn’t my friend. Today we go. There you go. There it is. Now everyone can see the number to contact for more information and the app. Get them through the application process. Thank you for pointing that out. yeah. And this will be, is being reported. Lauren. So you will send it to them at the end if they wanna see it again, or if they have your communication.

Okay. Yes. [00:34:00] All right. So, terrific. All right, well, thank you so much for joining us all today and for everyone interacting in the chat and the Q and a and to the faculty. Thank you again for being so explicit on what the program entails and for joining us again.

Master of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology Transcript

[00:00:00] All right. Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to our virtual open house for the online masters of professional studies in industrial and organizational psychology. We are really excited to get started. I do wanna give everyone just a few moments to log on and get situated. So while we’re waiting, I know we can see some faces, but everyone feel free to utilize them.

Join in, let us know that you can hear us clearly just by stating your first name, where you’re joining us from, since it’s lunchtime. How about what you’re having for lunch this afternoon, while you’re utilizing the chat, make sure you’re cognizant of who you’re sending messages to. There is a toggle between sending it to host and sending it to everyone.

So just make sure you’re sending it to everyone so we can all see, but we’ll get started in just a few minutes as everyone is joining. Great. Looks like we have a few people. Don’t be shy. Guys. Feel free to let us know where you’re, where you join us from. We’re happy to have everyone here this afternoon.

I’m a sucker for our hog gold egg for breakfast, Dr. Mod. [00:01:00] It’s it fills you up all day. all right. Everyone looks like we’re able to get some participants in here. So thank you so much, everyone. Again for joining. We are so excited to get started just to introduce myself. My name is Janessa. I’m an admissions representative here for the program.

I am here as a resource to share information, answer questions, give a general walkthrough of the application assisting during that process. If it’s something you ultimately decide to move forward with a few things, I do want to just jump in and do some housekeeping before we get started. You should have both a questions and a chat function feel free to utilize either of those during the duration of the open house, we will address the questions some as we go along, if it’s really relevant to what we’re speaking to, but we’ll also have some time towards the end for some questions and answers.

So feel free to pop those in during the duration of the open house and we will address them as needed. And we’ll go ahead and get started this a. All right. A little overview of the evening. So this afternoon we are joined with our program director, [00:02:00] Dr. AOD, as well as our assistant director for the program, Dr. Kevin Stegel, we’ll learn a little bit more in their role, their role we’ll jump into an overview of our university as well as the program. And then we are joined also by a current student, miss Meredith Spencer. So she’ll be able to talk a little bit about the program. What it’s going to cover and what you can expect from it.

And then as I said, we’ll have some questions and answers. So feel free to pop those in as we’re going, Dr. Armad, if you wouldn’t mind getting us started. Hi, everybody. Welcome. We’re excited to have you here. Thank you for taking time away from your lunch. So I know that this is in the middle of the day, so we appreciate you all taking that time and joining us to learn more about our program and identifying if it’s a good fit for you.

A quick introduction about me. I am born and raised in Northern Virginia. I live in Woodbridge, Virginia. I went to. Speller Godwin Garfield, and then Mason for undergrad, masters and PhD a long time. Patriot. I keep coming back cuz I love Mason [00:03:00] so much. And now I’m back as a faculty member in teaching and leading this online program.

My research interests are in diversity equity inclusion. And so a lot of my work focuses on identifying sort of workplace experiences for stigmatized individuals. How to improve those negative experiences in the workspace? I do have two children, a 13 year old and a six year old who is now tapping on my shoulder.

So there’s a lot of work life balance that happens. And that often happens in office hours and monthly calls. And one of the nice things about our program is that we recognize your whole individual with families and your work and all of that going on. So if your cameras are on and you have pets and kids, and all of that is welcome in our program.

And that was a perfect example where it’s never just streamlined free of segmenting work and. My kids will come in here and there, but I’d love to learn about you all as well and your families and your work life, and a lot of your work experiences. We love to integrate all [00:04:00] of that in our program. And I look forward to sharing more about the program with you all today.

This afternoon, I’ll turn it over to Kevin. Hello. Welcome. Nice to meet everyone. I’m Kevin sta. I’m an IO psychologist for 27 years. I started out at, uh, some assessment centers and then went on a research Institute ultimately to tech incubators, and then here in academia. So I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and sharing my practical wisdom and co-creating a great learning experience with you. Thank you for sharing your time with us this afternoon. And we’re here to answer any questions you might. Please and contact us after open house too. And let’s foster dialogue it and get, start getting to know each other right now. So looking forward to meeting each of you.

Great. So we wanna start with a little bit of background on Mason. So some of you in the area might be more familiar with George Mason for others. We just wanna share that Mason’s been around from 1956. We were. Different a branch of the university of Virginia. We became our own independent institution in 1972.

This year, we had a lot of 50 year university [00:05:00] celebrations happening on campus and virtually we are the largest public university in Virginia. We also are considered in our one institution. It’s the highest rating possible in the us. So we are have a. Great, large research portfolio and support for that.

We have three campuses in Northern Virginia. So again, for those of you that are familiar with the area we have, the main campus is the Fairfax campus. We have our LinkedIn and the prince William, and then we have a south campus in South Korea and a ton of online programs, just like this one. And interesting note, we, our online program began before the pandemic started.

So it was nicely timed. We have several O online offering. An offer. If I could just jump in real quick. And we have students globally distributed in South Korea in Germany, in The Bahamas, in the UAE sometimes, and not just campuses, but students flourishing all around the world with us. Great. Thanks. Can you go to the [00:06:00] next screen?

So our IO program’s also been around for a while since 1972. So this, we have the on ground PhD and ma program and our online program began in 2019, but the on ground program. Has been around the last 50 years and the faculty are very prominent in the fields of IO psychology as academics and practitioners.

We’ve had faculty members that have been leading our professional association, the society for industrial organizational psychology. If those going into academia, working in top universities and editors of journals, and those that are going applied or reputable organizations, and we are the largest. IO program in the country.

And if you’re looking into other IO programs, one of the things that makes us really unique is that all of our full-time faculty that are teaching the doctoral and master students on ground are also teaching teaching in our online program. So you’re part of this large network, this large Mason IO network.

[00:07:00] Our online program. As I mentioned, we’re in our year three, we’re what we just welcomed cohort 10. So we began in 2019. We have students coming in three times a year in the spring, summer and fall. And that’s how we welcomed cohort 10 in this past summer. And for those of you applying and trying to get in for the fall, you’ll be cohort 11.

Our program is based on the scientist practitioner model. And that’s the heart of the IO field. We are preparing you for an applied career. So you do notice that terminology with. The name of our degree, right? Master’s of professional studies in applied industrial organizational psychology, but it does the heart of IO has the great combination or mix of the scientists and practitioner models.

So we are making sure you’re well versed in research and data. To make informed decisions for organizations. And so by the time that you’re done, you will be successfully able to apply to a wide variety of industries and positions in [00:08:00] a, an IO in HR and the management areas. And a lot of our students, if for any of the OS that may wonder.

What does it look like to be successful in this program? You can check out our IO newsletter. Kevin can drop a link to the ion and we have a good news section. And in that good news section, you can get a great idea of the type of job students are obtaining. We do include. Promotions and internships and job opportunities.

And we like to celebrate all of those success stories. And so we highlight that in the good news corner in our program, the major coursework, it’s a year and a half program, and we follow an eight week modular schedule. And so you’re not taking two classes at once. You’re focusing on one class at a time.

This is to allow you to balance your work life demands. Especially those of you working full time. You don’t have to be worried about submitting assignments for two different classes. You’re focused on one class at a time, but that doesn’t mean that we’re teaching any less than what you would be getting in a 15 week course.

You just have that condensed into eight weeks [00:09:00] and focus on one class. So in the fall you would take fall session one. Focus on a class and then fall session two and focus on your next class and still wrap up with two classes under your belts. Every single one of our courses is focused on having an applied component.

So the projects and assessments or things that you would be doing in the real world. So in selection, you are doing your job analysis and you are doing an. Foundation, you are engaging with surveys and those sort of things. So that’s a good thing to keep in mind is that when you go on for interviews, you’ll be able to talk about those experiences that you’ve had in the classroom.

And talk about how you have that again, applied experience in your learning to be able to translate it into the work that you’re gonna be doing. And we do have a practicum course. The practicum course is where students complete their own apply projects with partners or in small group. And you don’t need to, when oftentimes the [00:10:00] students here practicum, they think, oh, do I need to quit my job?

And is it an internship? It is not an internship. It is. You take the research methods course. And then the practicum course, you actually carry out the research project. You propose, as I mentioned. Our field is focused on the scientist practitioner model. So you’re identifying a workplace problem and you need research and data to address that and find a solution to that in that practicum course, Meredith can talk a little bit more about maybe her project when we come to the student side and what she’s studying and how she’s going about that project cause she’s in the middle of it right now. And that could be a springboard for a professional publication or a presentation at SYOP or it could lead to a whole set of it into collaborations across your organization and other organizations. It really is the start of something and what you make it, it could be anything.

Absolutely. So some of the things that you can. Effect from the online program. First and foremost, you may be thinking yourself, why should I come to Mason? [00:11:00] Mason, you can look it up yourselves. Like the ranking for Mason’s IO program. We are ranked in the top five in the country. And as I mentioned, we have all of our full-time faculty teaching in our program.

And so we’re very reputable within the fields of bio psychology. And students in our program, quite frankly, they’ve had a lot of successful outcomes. As I mentioned, go ahead and take a look at the good news corner and see the job opportunities that students are getting and not just job opportunities, awards within the university.

Uh, Awards within SYOP and opportunities to present at conferences and publish their work in white papers and those sort of things. And the other thing, in addition to our success stories, students often mention and talk about their positive experience when they’re in the program. So when they’re in the program, they it’s really a community.

I know. We just met in person for several students of us. We just met the spring graduation, but you should have seen the room. It was like [00:12:00] everybody, it wasn’t like everyone was meeting for the first time. It was like they had known each other for a while. And that’s because we have this strong community online.

So when students come in, when you, you will have a virtual orientation that you all will attend to get you more acclimated with our program, then in your first course, Dr. Stegel is always leading the first course and helping you onboard into the program, into graduate school and getting you acclimated with the fields and you have that support.

We have a student advisory board that’s very engaged. They started a new mentoring program to mentor new students, basically parents, more senior students with the students coming into the program. We have a learning community with access to a ton of resources to, again, better understand the resources available within Mason within the department, within our IO program.

And the students are very active on the slack channel. So we. Set you up in slack and get you all connected to each other. And students, those that are successful in the [00:13:00] program have made a lot of strong connections with others and create study groups. And by the time they are graduating, they become they’re really good friends.

We have students who are like visiting each other and becoming the conference and staying at the hotel room together or when they’re coming to for graduation, but they become fully girl friends. And if that’s what really stands out for me from other online programs is that live engagement that you have with peers, with the faculty and speaking of faculty, while this is the asynchronous online program faculty offer office hour times, which is really synchronous time for you to connect every single week.

And that’s, it’s a cultural norm in the program. That, again, it’s not required, but out of my class of. Five. I have 20 to 22 students coming office hours. And that’s because students wanna be engaged. They wanna learn as much as they can from the faculty and from their peers and get the most out of their experience.

And the students who are doing those things are [00:14:00] very successful in the program and are really enjoying their time. And many of them, as they’re coming up with their last class, they’ve already emailed me and said, I can’t believe it’s my last class. They went by so quickly. We’re gonna miss the program already.

Without, yeah, I’m gonna turn it over to Kevin to see if there’s anything else that he’d like to add. And then I’d love for you to spend some time and hear from Meredith and about her experiences. And then we can open it up for some Q and a, well, I’ll just follow on about that point about office hours.

And that’s just an indicator of, of our commitment to you. And to this program is there are certain requirements. We all exceed those requirements, but beyond meeting the basics, exceeding the basic standard. We’re actually engaged in, in, in a very rich exchange during that period of time. And we’re not only just asking questions of each other and having group discussions.

We do presentations from the best scholars on the planet. Come here and speak both during office hours [00:15:00] that we, that the individual instructors host, but we also host. Mason host is a speaker series, Dr. Kaplan’s group that you’ll have access to both during your program and post the program. So this is literally an hour a week, or it’s an hour 45 minutes a week of listening to the best thinkers on the planet for the rest of your career during the spring and fall, fall and spring.

So. There’s tremendous valued office hours beyond just answering your weekly topical questions. There are activities and exchanges and, and serious games that we’re engaged in and self quizzing and competitions. I think it’s a real robust experience. And I think it’s one of the most valuable, uh, components of, of our learning continuum here.

That’s an example. Even our adjuncts are involved in this. It’s not just the, the tenured faculty and the senior faculty. It’s, it’s also myself, but, and the more junior faculty and it’s even the [00:16:00] adjuncts are involved sending additional announcements every week with additional links and resources and webpages for our first course, there are nearly a hundred learning resources between the optional and required readings, but we also put up another couple hundred for you, and that will carry you forward beyond the course. It’s almost as almost if you’re getting two courses for the price of one. And because we know that in the future, you have a multi decade career in front of you, and we want you to continue to learn, to grow post our interaction. And we wanna see you, uh, develop over the, over your career continuum and we’re eagerly await your learning signature to see what it is. And that just as exciting to us as Iowa psychology instead is to watch you unfold and, and realize your potential. There are resources well beyond what we.

What we’re talking about is the core of the program that we’re gonna offer. You. That’ll equip you for many years to come [00:17:00] and you can feel your own growth and learning. And we’re very excited to get to know you best that. I’ll leave it at that Meredith thank you all for coming. See meeting us today. So Meredith please.

Sure. Hi everyone. My name is Meredith Spencer. I live in Northern Virginia as well. Right outside of DC. I work for Nestle. We are headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. And I graduated Virginia tech in 2014 with a major in public relations and a minor in business management. So now I’m working on my master’s at George Mason and I’m in cohort seven.

So I’m lucky to have six cohorts ahead of me who. Who really lead us and guide us just pave the way for new ways of working new ways of studying and everything like Dr. Amod said the community. I’ll talk a little bit about it later, but it really is so fantastic. I think I’m lucky to be like right in the middle of the cohorts, because not only am I learning from [00:18:00] the six cohorts in front of me, but we also have a lot of community processes and methods set up to help the people who are coming after us.

Once all of you hopefully join a cohort in the master’s program. You will have a lot of people ahead of you who are happy to help and assist. But so, like I said, I’m in cohort seven. So I started at George Mason in my summer semester last year in 2021. Um, it was a little bit before now that I was sitting in this same virtual orientation, learning about the program.

Right now I have seven courses under my belt. I’ve stayed on track to graduate in December. So I’m working on my eighth class right now, which I’ll talk about, which is the practicum, but a little bit about myself. So I’m a senior integrated HR specialist. Like I said, at Nestle, I started my career four years ago as a marketing assistant.

I worked on our Tollhouse brands and all of our global foods brands. And three years ago I [00:19:00] had a career transition. Into HR and stayed within Nestle. But I realized that marketing wasn’t for me, I started really becoming interested in the data analytics teams that our HR operations teams are over. And so right now I’m a senior integrated specialist.

I work on process improvements across all of our HR functions. So I’m integrated throughout payroll benefits, learning and development. Compensation, our project management, recruiting talent acquisition. And I say these details because everything that we learn in the program touches on all of these different teams that I work on.

And so it’s just really great experience, background knowledge that I’m bringing to my corporate career. I also work on all of our. Mergers acquisitions and divestitures. I work on data analysis for them and the operational methods that we use to integrate other businesses under Nestle. [00:20:00] Also eight months ago, Nestle underwent an HR transformation.

So I was able to work on the change management side of that work. We globalized our HR operations processes. And so I work a lot with our international markets. On our global processes. So everything that I’m about to learn in one of my electives of organizational change management and development will be extremely beneficial and advantageous for me as I continue my career.

So a little bit about my time at George Mason. So like I said, I started. Almost one year ago, I have done seven classes and I’m working on number eight, which is the practicum so far. I’ve learned about introduction to science, the science and practice of IO psychology, foundations of organizational psychology, applied data analytics, one and applied data analytics, too.

Foundations of industrial psychology. So it’s. Break up the foundations of [00:21:00] organizational versus industrial. So you really get to see the differences of the two sides that we study. I’ve also gone through employee selection. I just finished up research methods last week, and then this week I started my practicum and then my last two courses for the fall semester this year will be two electives.

One. Performance management. And like I said, the other is organizational change and development. There are a number of other electives that other cohorts have done such as benefits and compensation, motivation and wellbeing applied leadership, applied teamwork, workplace training. So there are tons of courses that are available to you as a member of the program to make your studying and everything that you want to get out of the program work for you and, and what either your passions are or what your career choices have been or where you want to go in your career. Um, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a number of professors. I’ve had Dr. Stegel as a professor.

I’ve, I had [00:22:00] Dr. Amad as a professor last course, she’s also a professor. This course I’m working with some others, Dr. Dover spike, Dr. Lee, they’re really renowned individuals. They’re incredibly intelligent and they are people who are so eager to share their experiences. In my first seven courses, honestly, the most learning that I had.

Besides the readings and everything like that was really the time in office hours, learning from the professors and collaborating with my. Fellow peers in my cohort, my favorite class, it was probably has been applied data analytics too, because I really enjoyed taking everything that we learned in our first data analytics course, and then using it inside of programs, such as our studio SPSS at Nestle, we use power BI.

So I was able to translate a lot of that data. This work into Nestle’s programs, but then I also really loved [00:23:00] employee selection because we worked on two group projects. One was a job analysis. So we collected data, analyzed information on the selection and recruitment processes. And we got to propose a as a consulting group, a fake consulting group.

For a project. And then we also did a validation project where we looked at the fairness and utility of a battery of selection of tests on how a fake company was selecting its employees. And we offered a proposal, a. Of new batteries and everything. So it’s just really interesting work. And the professor guides you through all of that week by week.

So you, you get to see exactly how a true IO psychologist would go about working at, as a consultant with these companies, everything that they pay attention to, what’s not important how to get stakeholders involved and how to present to them. And then I also really loved foundational. Foundations of industrial psychology because [00:24:00] we worked on a big consulting project.

For a performance management system, we got to create a performance management system from square one as a group. And one of Dr. Ahmad’s tips was creating study groups. And so I was lucky enough to work with a study group for all of those projects. And, um, we had created a study group after our first course.

We had gotten to know each other, realized that a lot of our passions were similar. We studied at the same. Hours of the day we were online at the same time a lot. We were similar in the way that we turned our work in and our timelines through each week. And so we created a study group and so I was able to use them in all of these group projects that we got to work on so far outside of the class and office hours.

I’m also involved in all of the MPS calls. So we have monthly calls. Whereas Dr. Siegel noted, we have a lot of guest speakers. [00:25:00] IO psychologists who work in the field who have been through this program. Something that I really love is learning about people who have been through other programs. We get to understand their education process, how it differs from George Mason’s.

But I will say that Dr. Amad brought up a really good point just about the community. Again, a lot of times when I hear about students or. People who have graduated from other programs. I see that they often are lacking the community aspect to it. And definitely not in Octa, any other program, of course, but the one at George Mason, like DRMA said, my study group, those four other people are now lifelong friends of mine.

I’ve met one of the families. One of somebody lives just a little bit down the road from me. We share restaurants that we go to coffee shops, all that kind of stuff. I’ve been lucky enough to go onto campus and utilize the library, all those kinds of things. So it’s really [00:26:00] nice. To have those kinds of people in the community who are so willing to collaborate and communicate, share experiences and everything.

But then in addition to that, I’m also part of the student advisory board. It’s called S a B. Everybody in all of the cohorts has an opportunity to join. It’s a really great chance to learn the other side of the program. So what is doc, what are Dr. Amad and Dr. Stegel working on to make the program better?

How can we, there’s a constant, constant yearning for improvement, as wonderful as the program is Dr. Amad and Dr. Stegel are very tuned into the diversity of the population of students, not only geographically, but in all aspects of our lives. And so that’s a really great opportunity to get involved in leaving your own mark on the program and getting to understand the other side where Dr. Amad and Dr. STLE are working on something that I helped work on with the [00:27:00] SAP group is something called a learning community. And so going back to this sense of community George Mason, the program has really done a great job of developing that community since we have an online environment. that’s called the learning community.

And that’s where you’ll find all of the information. When you’re a student about courses, syllabi learning from other students, there are always questions posted graduation kind of stuff. And they host a lot of conversation just about IO topics. Like what people are seeing going on in the field. Research that’s being done, things like that.

And it’s just a, literally a place online for all of the cohorts to commune together. So that’s where I’ve really become friendly with people in other cohorts who I’m maybe not in office hours weekly with, but I see where they work, what they’re interested in, what their research is that they’re working on.

And so that has been a really great resource that I’ve met other people through [00:28:00] and really ex just expanded my knowledge and my reach in this program. So like Dr. Ramad said I am in my practicum course. So I just finished research methods for eight weeks of research methods. We learned from step one, how to develop a research question.

And we started developing a manuscript of a research proposal that we worked with Dr. Amad and Dr. Dover spike as our research advisors. Really great people to have backing you because their wealth of knowledge is incredible in research. They’ve, they’ve both been published in numerous journals and have so much.

Information to share with us to help us become more professional in the field with our research. My group is a group of three and our research is around the gender differences in data or in self-efficacy of data analytics and the way that self-efficacy dictates how the different genders [00:29:00] choose their career choices.

So looking at job descriptions would a female versus male. Choose a job description. What was their data analysis in the program that they went through, that they graduated with? What’s their level of self, self efficacy in the data analytics courses that they took, and then how that affects the career choices that they make of different job descriptions.

That’s what we’re researching and we’ve just put out surveys into the community for people to take. So we’re in the data collection process and in the practicum, that’s where we will learn how to clean up our data, how to analyze our data. We will use everything that we learned in our data analytics courses that we’ve previously taken.

To develop our research. And in the end, we will have a full, um, research article written based on our findings. My group is interested in getting it published and presenting at SYOP, which Dr. Stegel spoke about. So we [00:30:00] are also learning how to go through the international review board process, making sure that all of your research is ethical, that it is compliant with all the guidelines and everything.

So we’re really getting to see that real life experience. Of being an IO psychologist, being a researcher, understanding all of the different activities, tasks that they do in their job. And we’re having those real life experiences for ourselves learning so much along the way. And the program is giving us an opportunity to become published authors and potentially present at SYOP.

I think that aside from the community aspect, my second favorite part of the program is the real world experiences. I from these group projects am expanding my portfolio that I’ve used. I was in the program when I got promoted to a senior integrated specialist. And in my interviews, I used our projects and showed them I’m on my track towards [00:31:00] data analytics.

Look at all of this work that I have done. Over the last year, almost a year and a half. And I explained what I was going to be doing with my research and everything that I was going to learn over the next half year. And how into 2023, I will be a really good candidate at, for. Our data analytics or people, analytics teams, like I said, the second favorite part is that it’s giving us this real world experience that we can then use to promote ourselves for career advancement.

I have a number of people in my cohort who are technically retired and now they’re onto working for their passions and they have a passion for research at IO psychology. And it’s amazing seeing what they’re doing as well, even after retirement with it. It’s very motivating for me. As a young professional in the field.

Hopefully some, sorry, I spoke a lot. I don’t see the chat. So if there are any questions, just let me know Dr. Amad or Janessa, but hopefully something that I have [00:32:00] said today has motivated you to want to join the program. I definitely speak for, I wanna say definitely my whole cohort, but probably all cohorts.

That it was the best decision that I’ve made as a young professional to join the program at George Mason. I definitely, I have some peers who I, like I said are in other programs who aren’t getting the same experience, wonderful experience that I am at George Mason. It, it definitely is a great program to consider.

And as you can see, just from me and DRMA Dr Stegel and all of the programs that they’ve set up for us as students like S a and the NPS calls, they’ve really created this community that feels very homey and welcoming. And so even though I’m online, like I’ve said, I’ve made friends. From E even other cohorts inside my cohort.

And so that the environment that they have developed in this [00:33:00] program, I really think is just a stellar program to be a part of. Hopefully something I’ve said has inspired you to want to join our program and be a part of the George Mason legacy. And I definitely hope to have a chance to meet all of you at some point.

Thank you so much, Meredith, it’s always nice to hear from students about your background, what you’re experiencing, you know, that’s the biggest question and concern we typically get from individuals who are her prospective students. So we really appreciate you taking the time to, to just speak on it. I, we are utilizing them for questions. So please feel free to keep them coming. Let’s see. So as far as next steps, before we jump into that questions and answer portion, please, if there are any questions regarding next steps, as far as start dates, application, materials, deadlines, anything like that. More than welcome to reach out to your admissions representative.

And if you don’t know who your advisor or representative is, I will go ahead and post our phone number in the chat in just a moment. So feel free to jot that down and give us a call. [00:34:00] We’ll be happy to assist in any way with those particular questions regarding your specific file. But for now, I’d really like to take advantage of the time that we have with Dr. Amad and Dr. Segel and Meredith and answers some specific questions that you guys may have about the program, about how it’s structured. I know we got some that were submitted a little earlier this week, so I’ll be reading off some of those, but as I mentioned, and as Dr Matt’s been posting, please guys, feel free to, to utilize the chat and answer some, or ask some questions, but for now, can I get, can I get one in for J I get a DM.

I just wanna confirm that our fall 22 cutoff is 10. Is that what it is? August 10th. Our application. That sounds right. Yes. It was just moved back from the first I. Yeah. Yes. So always 10th. We need your applications in by then. And before you move on, I just wanna make sure I’m, we’re fully capturing or responding to the questions that have been coming in the chat.

So I’ll just do a speed answering session real quick. [00:35:00] So we, as Dr. Stable mentioned, we don’t share a graduation rate, but a majority of our students do graduate. And if. Those that do not have unique circumstances and situations with health or personal life demands and things that may have resulted in them either pausing so, or delaying their graduation or with in withdrawing completely because of some unique life changes that have happened.

But majority of the students successfully complete the program and, and for students who are thinking, okay, I might have. Work demands that are coming up. You do have five years to complete the program, but typically most students, again, a majority of students go through the whole program together because they do create those cohort bonds.

And once they’re in, they wanna get through it. But they are unique situations where they’re like, I’ll be traveling for work, or I have a baby that’s gonna be born, or I am moving and they’ll take a break for a term so that I just wanted to clarify that in terms of course, size. I wanna clarify the difference between cohort size and [00:36:00] co course size.

So we do cap our courses and you won’t be in a specific class with 40 or 50 students posting on the discussion board. We generally try to keep the course size around 25, but as Dr. Stable mentioned, we have electives that might have 10 students than others that may have 25, 28. Depending on elective preferences, for example, but there we do generally try to aim for a core size to be kept around 25, a cohort size.

Now that’s different. So you may be coming in. So for example, in the fall cohort, in the spring cohort, We have two sections of courses that are offered because they’re a larger cohort. So you may be one of two sections, but all the students you’re that coming in with is a larger group that you may connect with on slack.

And then, so for example, in the fall, we have two sections around 45 students that came in. In the spring, but then in the summer, it’s a slower time for enrollment. We have one section being offered. So that’s a little distinction [00:37:00] between cohort and course size. The application deadline was August 1st, but we had an internal board meeting, I think last week.

And Dr. Stegel, Dr. Zakari and I decided to push that back a little bit to give you guys extra time. We recognized summertime. We also be filled with vacations and so forth. So that’s been pushed back on slightly, but get them in early. because as another question came in the earlier, get it in the earlier we’ll even get a decision and be able to get prepared.

In terms of physically, mentally, emotionally, financially getting into the program. So get those applications. And there’s another question that was privately sent to me. If students anticipate wanting to start next spring or next summer, what can they do? So I suggest going back to the admissions representative and finding out how long you can defer, but my suggestion is why not apply and see if you.

Because, for example, if there’s a possibility that you get denied, you can also find out different techniques or strategies to improve your application in the future. So some students have maybe they were lacking the stats and want to take additional courses or get more [00:38:00] experience or figure out what to do.

And then once you have that acceptance, you can defer one to two terms, but there is a certain time after that, that you would have to do the whole application again. So double check with the admissions representative. So there was a question that came in that I think Meredith might be able to address.

So Alfred had asked as a beginner, who’s trying to get into the HR management. Is there any knowledge that you need to bring into the program or does it really teach you everything from up ground up? So Meredith you wanna add your thoughts to that? Sure. I would say and correct me if I’m wrong. Dr. Modern, Dr. Segel. I, I don’t think that there’s necessarily a ton. HR specific knowledge that you need to bring in? When I started the course, I had only been in HR operations for almost two years. Yes. I was getting corporate professional experience, but I definitely, I’ve never been a people manager. I. So that whole side of HR I wasn’t familiar with until I took some of the courses. [00:39:00]

So it, I don’t, I, I don’t think that you necessarily have to have a lot of HR expensive and to be honest. So a lot of IO psychologists don’t specifically work in the HR field, so you can definitely bring in any of your. Experiences and trust me, you can apply IO psychology. You can apply it to the learnings of IO psychology.

So I would say honestly, someone who is green in the HR world, this is a great program to come in and understand how IO psychology fits into HR. And from what I have seen, it is only, and again, Dr. Stegel car to me, if I’m wrong, but it is only growing in the HR field. Even at Nestle are the data analytics groups are definitely growing and hiring more analysts and everything.

So I think that it’s definitely a great foundation to have as you start your HR career. Yeah. So [00:40:00] again, it’s whatever experiences you bring in. We can. It helps and supports you. But there are students. We have students who just graduated from undergrad last semester, all the way up to 20, 30 years senior in their current position.

So we do have a diverse spectrum of students coming into the program and they leverage each other and support each other in their learning trajectory. The next question, I’m gonna turn to Kevin. Kevin. There’s a question about deciding between org, psych and organizational development. What’s the difference and why would one choose one over the other?

I posted a response to this in the chatroom organizational psychology. And this is a, a nickel definition. You actually got the open, the textbook. It, it will be the study of the systems and the people and the phenomenon that you’re trying to cultivate effect, or perhaps even extinguish through organizational change and organizational development inter.

So to study one without the other would be useless in my opinion. So you, you need to have the face [00:41:00] organizational theory from classical organizational to postmodernism to really understand that all of those lenses are useful ways to understand the same organization and then to be able to, uh, To reach the best practices that we’ve evidenced over time, that affect and cultivate cause the changes we’re trying to energize in our system.

I would say organizational development is a terrific discipline. To study, but I believe we have a greater balance on the actual people that make the place and perhaps more focused on their psychology than you would in an OD program, which might be more in a business department or a business B school than an IO program, which would be in the psychology department, different, slightly different phenomena.

Different approaches different, slightly different techniques. Some there is some core to it in [00:42:00] some common, but there’s quite, there’s more unique. I would say than common. We have a very heavy emphasis on bio psychosocial phenomenon where bio psychologists, instead of business practitioners necessarily.

And I would say we have the elective organizational change in development. We do have an elective that covers that. And for those of you that may be deciding between another area and IO, one thing you might wanna do is look at O net, look up industrial organizational psychologist, look up organizational development officer or something, and look at the job tasks and responsibilities and competencies that are needed in those areas and go out and find actual job descriptions.

Like when you’d be on the. Find natural job descriptions hiring for both and see. Is the best fit for you because we do wanna make sure that you get into a program that is a good fit for you. And that’s really important. So do some more soul searching and researching to see what direction you’re more interested in.

There’s another question that came in about job opportunities as a [00:43:00] freelance consultant. And if that’s a path previous students have taken, that’s not one that I’m familiar with that students taking. A lot of our students are going to different organizations, but I don’t see why that. You would have to limit yourself.

I do know of doctoral students who do freelance consulting and they actually reach out to our program. And once dear, a friend of mine and will ask me to send things on the list, serve and hire consultants to support some of the work that she’s doing. So if that’s a pathway you’re interested in, we do have a doctoral student or the doctoral graduate, excuse me, that has gone this down this pathway and we could get you connected to her.

So another question came in about networking resources available. For career placement after the program. So I wouldn’t focus so much after the program. I would actually say in the program, as well as after some of the things you have access to is first and foremost, the university career services, they do support reviewing your resume interviewing tips and they have their database.

They have career fairs. But most importantly, you have access to our list serve. [00:44:00] So all of the faculty receive consistently, like constantly we receive advertisements and Meredith can probably shake our head and say, how many emails you guys get from all of the faculty, because they are seeking out George Mason graduates.

They know the rigor of our programs, the PhD, masters, and NPS, and they reach out to us. And so we’re cons constantly sending out opportunities for. Jobs and things like that. And for networking, we are same thing. We’re sending out opportunities, not just within the MPS program, but within the IO program at Mason with PhD and ma then within the IOP, the field within with other institutions.

And so we are sharing platforms and ways. For example, I’m very involved as an ally in blacks and I psychology and they’re constantly holding different things and Latinas and IO psychology, and they’re holding different seminars and sessions and things like that, that I’m forwarding out to our students.

Kevin. Yeah, I would just say that’s coming from all the senior FA from people that aren’t even senior faculty, they, [00:45:00] their job opportunities coming from all over the psychology department in chess. Yesterday, there was a assistant professor position at TA mu. We got the same announcement from two different professors within th within five seconds of each other, because there are just people constantly cultivating opportunities for you that you’re not even, you haven’t met personally yet, but you will.

And they’re terrific people and they’re supporting you behind the scenes. So another question came in about workload. So most a majority of our, oh, Meredith you’ve had your hand up. You wanted to add something to that before? Yeah, I was just going to add. That this very transparent conversation is also shines a light on that. People want to hire George Mason students, that they seek out this program, that these professionals who are looking for people to add to their employee populations, they come to our professors because they know what our professors are teaching and they know. The education and the knowledge background that George Mason is [00:46:00] giving us.

And so I think that’s why we get so many job opportunities sent to us is because they want people from this program, knowing that they, that you teach the scientist or science, the practitioner model. Absolutely. Thank you so much. In terms of the workload 15 to 20 hours a week is a good estimate. And the there’s a formula behind that.

So there’s a certain number of credit hours. When you take on ground three credit hours a week should equal nine hours of work and you multiply that by 15 and you get a total hours. Now you divide that instead of. 15 weeks into eight weeks. And so you’re averaging easily 15 to 20 hours a week and students have shared that’s one thing that students like to share in the program is their schedule and their strategies. So some students will say, Monday, I look over what’s expected of the week. Tuesday. I start diving into the readings Wednesday. I might do my discussion post as due on Thursday, and then I’ll start my applied assignment.

[00:47:00] And then I’ll dive into wrapping up the week with the knowledge check quiz. And so there, you can learn different strategies from students and how they divvy up the work. Some students putting in a few hours each day, some students might be putting in more hours on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, because that’s what their work schedule work life demands allow.

So students have varying ways to do that. 1520 hours is a good estimate. And of course that’s give or take given your strengths and weaknesses. So we do have students that share with us that they haven’t been in school in 20 years. And so it may take them a little longer to read articles and complete some of the assignments and do those things.

So there are definitely individual differences. I recognize we have a. Nine minutes. I’m gonna try to answer as many of these questions again, as possible. A question came in about, can I take more than two courses per semester? And Meredith’s probably gonna nod her head. I promise you one course at a time is more than enough to fill your plate.

And it is a graduate level course. They are intensive and you are putting 15, 20 hours. So now if you wanna take two, you’re easily saying you’re gonna spend 40 to 60 hours [00:48:00] in a course. And that would, you don’t wanna do that? you don’t wanna do that. So it is typically two courses a semester. Can you take course in the summer?

Absolutely. As I mentioned, it’s a year and a half program. And we have it built out for you taking course in the spring, summer and fall. And so that’s how you would complete in a year and a half is if you take courses, every single term financial resources offered. So there, a lot of our students take advantage of financial aid and they go through the financial aid office with loans and things like that.

And we are working on some scholarships for the MP population, and we’re hoping to have that ready by the fall. So to add additional financial support, a question came in about internship as part of the program. An internship is not required as part of the program. And the reason for that is, as I mentioned, it’s a professional studies program and most of our students are.

And so we’re gonna quit your job and, uh, required internships. But that doesn’t mean that several of our students do take internship opportunities. I know I can think of a number of students who are [00:49:00] working full-time and took a part-time internship. Or they took a part-time research assistantship or they did dive go ahead and apply to a related position.

So those are all opportunities that you have. How do you choose between a master’s or PhD at advisor, or I’m assuming, maybe program that one. You will definitely need to do some more soul searching about your long-term goals. If you want to go the PhD or masters route now. There are students who have come into our program, three of them who have completed our program and gotten into PhD programs.

The on ground master’s program really offers additional research opportunities to get into PhD programs. But if that is a goal of yours, Dr. Stable and I have worked with students and entering them to take advantage of research opportunities, both within the George Mason network and a beyond. To set them up for success for a PhD program.

So another question about the I and O side [00:50:00] and setting up to branch in a specific direction, as Meredith mentioned, you have your foundation’s overview courses. Some ways that you can focus on a certain area is by choosing those elective offerings to those last two electives that you take. Branch into that area of things that you’re more interested in.

So you mentioned group relations. Kevin teaches the teams. Course. We have a wellbeing and motivation course that is offered. What else? Question about, I think class meeting times and specific times. So every faculty instructor will set their synchronous times themselves. And typically a lot of times they’ll ask students.

I know that I always send a poll and ask students and I go with the preferred time last semester, my office hours were Tuesday nights, eight to nine because I had a lot of students on the west coast and they wanted a later office hour. This time we do Tuesday nights from six to seven. Some classes will do Wednesday.

Some, I know Steve does some on Saturday mornings, so it’s really, uh, every faculty member [00:51:00] will work with the students that they have and set up synchronous times to meet with the students inclusion diversity. So when you say there’s cohorts covering that at. Again, cohorts refers to the group of students coming in, but in terms of content that’s being covered in the course, we do have di sort of a topic that touches all aspects of the fields.

And we have that sprinkled throughout the different courses and for you to be touching and learning about di in the workplace. Can they get the links from the presentation post? I know they get the video of this meeting, but can they get the links from the chat room? Yes, I can share them in an email.

Great. Kevin, I’m gonna turn this one to you. Could you share what the committee’s looking for in regards to applicants? And is this a good program directly after undergrad? What is a typical background of a student? The C the selection committee is searching through your undergraduate transcripts, uh, to assess operationalized predictors. [00:52:00]

Your success in graduate school. What we, our particular set of predictor mixture is our intellectual property, but you will learn what the major predictors are that graduate programs use to make selection decisions. You could imagine that we are interested in your GPA and your cognitive abilities, maybe your personality attributes, your proficiency, but most of all, I’m interested in your motivation.

Because I believe that anyone that’s willing to put their heart into this and drive themselves every day to do this. And that’s what it’s going to take for you. If you are willing to wake up early and stay up late and work really hard to make your life better for you and your family, we will do everything we can to help you.

So I am looking for motivation. And, uh, and that’s hard to read an application setting, but I am as easy to pick up your first week in the course. And we’ll know who’s really in this because they want a better future and they want to [00:53:00] help the communities they live in and they wanna improve their, their organizations and employers.

So that’s easy to pick up. Who’s got the drive who’s people like Meredith, and that’s why I put exceptionally similar in, in the chat box because the people she’s talking about. They’re driving themselves and they’re driving each other every day to be better at what they’re doing. And that’s the product is right in front of you.

Yeah. And so that’s what we’re looking for to, so when you are passion drive go. Absolutely. And just echo that, obviously we are. Looking at your GPA, we are looking at your previous work experience. We are looking at if you’ve taken stats and research methods before, if you’re supplementing that with some LinkedIn courses, we are looking at those letters of recommendation, but we are, and we are reading those essays.

So sometimes those essays. They tell a story and it really, your GPA might have been right at the borderline, but you have a GPA addendum. Look, I was going through X, Y, Z, and Kevin and I are sitting there racking our brains out. Do we give this person a [00:54:00] chance? What do we do? Are they gonna be successful?

But both Kevin and I are very motivated to open that gate for you and really hope that you push yourself and are motivated to cross that bridge and be successful in the program. But the things were, I’ve seen resumes that have come in even most recently for the cohort applying in the fall that I’m like, why haven’t you had someone look at this?

It is not the best thing you could be in terms of putting your foot best foot forward or your essay. So please be mindful of that is that we are reading all parts of your application and really trying to identify your writing skills, your accountability, all those things, and picking up on all those things that he mentioned and make sure you have all of that covered.

And we’re really looking to select you in not screen you. That is not what we’re trying to do. We are doing our very best to help you get in here and to help you along the way, because we’ve seen great things happen with people. Magical, amazing transformations from day one on, and none of us can really look into the [00:55:00] seeds of time and know what’s going to happen.

We very much want to find a way to make this work for you. So help us help you do your homework. Do your due diligence on SYOP before you write to us review, spell check. Have a friend review for you go to your respective, undergraduate writing centers, have them review it, structure your information in the easy, intuitive format for us to understand your experience.

Yeah. Thank you. All right. And so I know we’re almost at time, so I thought there’ a question about how courses are structured in recorded lectures and readings. So every single one of the courses has been carefully developed by a course developer over. Period of time. And then they have your learning resources, which include your textbook reading journal articles, videos, and they have practice exercises to engage in that are not graded, but allow you to opportunity to practice what you’re learning.

They have applied [00:56:00] exercises often related to projects. They have a knowledge checklist. It’s multiple choice to make sure you’re understanding what you’re reading. They have some discussion board component. So all of these different platform, ways or avenues to facilitate your learning. There are some like courses that have some prerecorded lecture components like Phil stats courses, where he walks you through some of the R stuff and so forth, but a majority of them there’s different learning resources to facilitate your thinking about things.

So for example, in my research methods, class Meredith knows this, that I talk about. There are literally. These worksheets or guidelines that I created that I’m like, oh, how are you operationalizing your construct? How are you measuring it? And that’s a learning resource to literally help her them students think about research and the framework that we’re trying to teach.

So those are all teaching resources and, um, So that’s a little bit more about the way the courses are structured. And for the student asking about PhD, that’s a, again, a longer conversation and sort of soul searching of what you wanna do long term, [00:57:00] but there, as you can see, there’s many students, most students don’t have part the long route PhD and many are very successful getting their master’s degree.

And, um, it’s important to look into that. And as I mentioned earlier on students, do. Have taken the PhD, route three out of, yeah. The number, large number of students I’ve graduated. So it is absolutely possible. If that is a goal for yours, that’s up to you. How far you want to take the program, how much you wanna invest in yourself.

Really? Yeah. And again, your life goal, because I tell everyone a PhD is not for everyone. You can be very successful and the job market. Without a PhD, if that is a goal that some students really wanna just focus on the practitioner applied side of things and not so much the research side, and that’s a possibility, but that’s again, a whole other conversation and opportunity to do some introspection, the tuition rates.

I’m sure the advisor counselor. Representative the enrollment specialists can get back to you more about the full time full term in state, not astate tuition cost, but I believe they’re the synchronous [00:58:00] because it’s an online program. So we should have the same tuition for all of the students. For those that have a lower GPA, that work experience and stats and research methods, prerequisite courses, those definitely can offset some of that lower GPA and work fit. So find a, try to find a job in HR or volunteer for some HR projects. If you work in some other function in your organization. Absolutely. So work, fit’s a big compensating factor there. Get some experience, do something to assist someone. And again, I would say it doesn’t hurt to apply and get that feedback and always apply again in the future.

You never know, perhaps you are. We’re very compelling in. Essay and addendum explaining why your GPA may have been slightly lower and we opened that door for you. So with that, I hope I was able, we were able to address all the questions, please, please go ahead and connect with us on LinkedIn. Feel free to email the [00:59:00] admissions represented.

They get back to us with questions and we’ll get back to you in a timely manner. If there’s something that they can’t answer, we look forward to reviewing your applications and hopefully welcoming you in the fall.

Master of Social Work Transcript

[00:00:00] Okay, let’s go ahead and get started. Good afternoon. Again, my name is Susan. I’m an online admissions rep for Mason, and I can answer any of your application questions. Okay. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna input my information into the chat and you can also reach out to any of my colleagues. So I will put the main number as well, because if you don’t have an admissions rep that you’re working.

We’re happy to assist you. Okay. And I am fortunate enough to be joined here with Dr. Dafney king program coordinator and Ms. Melissa Hensley, who is the assistant field director for our MSW program. And they are here to share all the fantastic things that this program has to offer. So without further ado, Dr. King, if you could go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself. All right. [00:01:00] Thank you everyone for joining us. And as Susan said, I am the. MSW program online coordinator, as well as an assistant professor here in the department of social work, in the MSW program. So my area of focus is primarily in working with children and families.

My research interest is with self esteem issues for teens and how. Involvement with Christianity or other spiritual practices may impact their self-esteem. I primarily teach higher level clinical courses here in the program. So I teach courses such as clinical practice with children, youth, and families, forensic social work, practice, social policy for children and youth program evaluation for social workers.

And I am currently developing a new course for the department, which is. A school, social work course, and it’s called social work [00:02:00] practice in schools. So I’m really excited for that course to start this fall semester. As I, the majority of my social work career was working in the public school system as a school social worker.

And I know once you come into the program, you will learn a lot more about me and the work that I do once you are. In the program. Fantastic. And Ms. Hensley, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Sure. Hi everyone. I’m Melissa Hensley. I’m with the field education office. I started with Mason in April of 2020, which I can’t believe that much time has already passed, but I love it here.

The field education office is always busy. We have a, a lot of really great opportunities and we’re always adding new opportunities and changing with the needs of the community. Prior to Mason, I worked in mostly in long term care, assisted living memory care veterans, state, veterans home. And then also [00:03:00] hospice.

And so I spent a lot of time working in the facility setting as a social worker, have a field education. So I look forward to getting to know some of you on this call today. Wonderful. Thank you. And so Dr. King, if you can let us know what a student should expect. From attending this program. So one thing that I do wanna say is I thoroughly enjoy being a social worker.

It’s not always easy work, but it is rewarding when we are able to work with a client or a family system and see them make the changes that they want to make in their life. In their lives to enhance or improve their functioning. And so the MSW program here at Georgia Mason university, I think will help students to really achieve their career goals and career plans in the field of social work, our program.

I consider it to be pretty unique [00:04:00] because of where we are located with close proximity to the district of Columbia. And so that offers our students to engage in some very rich experiences in their practicum. And as we all know, The DC is our nation’s capital. That’s the seat of where policy is implemented or policy is made.

And so having that close proximity also enables students to engage in some of that work through their practicum. And I think those experiences are very rich for students with the MSW program as a whole at George Mason. We also have two very unique opportunities for students to enhance their practice skills while in the program.

And one of those is from the child welfare stipend program. And this is a title four E program through the depart with the partnership with the Virginia department of social services, where students can [00:05:00] pursue a career in child welfare while they are. In the child welfare stipend program here at Mason students also earn a $10,000 stipend per year.

And the stipulation with that stipend is that students have to work a certain number of years in a Virginia state of Virginia department of social services. Our other is, are other, I think, kind of unique opportunity that makes. Our MSW program here at Mason, unique is our new program, which is called our cap behavioral health program.

And students that are admitted to this program really receive more extensive training in, um, more extensive training in a trauma informed system approach, as well as using evidence, evidence based interventions to expand their knowledge in behavioral health. And. Also this program will [00:06:00] prepare students to go out and work in the field of behavioral health.

Our online program is primarily asynchronous. And what that means is that. The program is self-directed for students. Asynchronous means that students do not report to a classroom or have to log into their courses at a certain time of day. But that it is self-directed. It is asynchronous. It is different from on campus learning.

Whereas you won’t receive that. A typical in person type of lecture, some instructors do record pre-recorded lecture videos that are a little bit shorter than you. What you would get on campus. Our program online me has the same requirements as our on campus program. So it’s a 60 credit program for online.

That’s completed in 10 semesters for the part-time track. We [00:07:00] do have an accelerated option where students will take, it’s still 60 credits, but students will take nine credits per semester with the accelerated option. And we also have an advanced standing program for students that have received a BSW from an accredited institution where you start the program.

Having bypassed the first 27 credits or what we call the generalist courses and you start ready to start your specialization courses. And so. High level overview of our program. I’m not sure if Ms. Hensley has anything that she wants to add that I may have missed. I think you covered it is now a good time to talk about the practicum or do you wanna save that for, can we go to the next slide?

Absolutely. So I think we covered a lot of these questions here. So one thing to say, I, that I failed to [00:08:00] mention about our MSW program or our social work department as a whole, this past year celebrated its 50th anniversary. And if you’ve done any kind of research on George Mason, you also know that George Mason university is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

And the social work department was really formed at the same time that George Mason became. An independent public university. So we are celebrating 50 years as a department of preparing the next generation of social work students. And of course, social work is a field where we, we work to meet the needs of society.

And so our, of course, our MSW program, our BSW program was created to feel that need and to prepare professional level social workers, to go out into the field and meet those needs in society. We can, and I know that one thing about industry trends, I do think that as we have experienced with [00:09:00] the pandemic, many things have changed and many forms of operation, and that’s even true for the field of social work.

I think the field of social work is expanding to look at how telehealth can be incorporated more in the services that we provide while still maintaining our ethical standards and principles. And I think we can go to the next slide. And so just to give you a sample course overview, the generalist courses are on your left and it starts with social work, 600.

And all of those courses from social work, 600 to 6 74 are going to give you a foundation in social work practice and give you a foundation in working with clients 6 56 and 6 59 are going to give you that start to considering how policy impacts the work that we do with social workers and how important it is for us as social workers to understand how policy is developed and how that policy work impacts the work that we do with clients. [00:10:00]

Melissa Hensley is gonna talk about 6 72 and 6 73, which is our field practicum. I think the slide after this one, we’ll get into talking about field practicum. So those are your generalist courses. We have two specializations within the MSW program. Our first specialization is children, youth and families.

The second one is adults and healthy aging and students take courses specifically related to those specializations after they complete all of their generalist courses with those two specializations. Students will receive instruction in clinical practice as well as macro work. And I know that sometimes students want to focus on one specific track.

That’s either clinical or macro or policy focus. And what we’ve done with those specializations is infused clinical practice primarily, but also we have a focus on macro practice within these [00:11:00] specializations. So for the children, youth, and family specialization, You will take courses related to forensic social work practice that really get said, interviewing, interviewing children who may have been abused, whether physically or sexually, and how to work within work with law enforcement in those situations, clinical practice with children, youth, and families.

Again, it covers that clinical work with children, whether it. Private practice settings, social service agencies, or other therapy or counseling agencies, as well as looking at developmental needs of children and families. And then you have your specialized practicum courses as well as six 50 and 6 88, 6 50 is our advanced social work policy course.

And 6 88 is program evaluation for social workers, which again gives you that macro look. As social work practice, six 50 and 6 88 are two courses that students have to take, regardless of what their [00:12:00] specialization is. The adults and healthy aging specialization will focus on practice with adults and older adults across various life courses and lifespan six 40 is clinical practice with.

And then 6 89 is clinical practice with older adults and looking at how to meet the unique and specific needs of adults as they age. And again, for that specialization, you will also take 6 96 and 6 98. And so again, this is just a high level overview of the courses that you will take in the program. And we can go to the next slide and I’ve already talked about the two stipend programs, our child welfare stipend program, as well as our behavioral health program.

One thing to note with the child welfare stipend program is you can apply for the child welfare stipend program as a generalist or a specialization student for students for generalist students. Though, you have to be preparing to [00:13:00] start your field practicum to in order to apply for the program. And again, that is a $10,000 stipend per academic year for the behavioral health program.

Students can only apply to this program when they are going to be entering their specialization year. And that’s when you start those field practicum courses that are 6 96. This also has a $10,000 stipend program. During the year again, with the behavioral health program, it is looking at more of a trauma informed approach to addressing behavioral health needs, as well as exposure to violence, such as interpersonal or domestic violence.

And we go to the next slide. So before we talk about reaching out to your admissions representative, I do wanna give Ms. Hensley a chance to talk a little bit about field practicum and what that looks like to prepare for starting 6 72, your generalist [00:14:00] field practicum, or 6 96, the specialization practicum.

Thank you, Dr. King. So yeah, just to go into a little more detail on the practic. Actually, could we go back to the slide with the courses that are listed if we have that one available? Yeah. Thank you. So as you’ll see for the generalist year courses, 6 72 and 6 73 are for the practicum and seminar course.

So 6 72 is a fall semester. Course. It only starts in the fall. And then 6 73 is a continuation of 6 72. So it is broken into two separate courses. But for each course it’s a 15 to 16 week course per semester. So it’s a kind of like a traditional academic year. It’ll start in August around the end of August this year, we’re starting August 22nd.

And so that’ll run until. 6 72 will go until December. And then you’ll pick up with 6 73 where [00:15:00] you left off at the beginning of January. So that together makes up your generalist year practicum and you’ll do a practicum both for the generalist year and a specialization year. If you’re an advanced standing student, it would only be the specialization, your practicum.

So for the generalist year, It’s a total of 450 hours. And the practicums are generally in person and during normal business hours during the week. So for 16 hours a week, it, it may impact your schedule. If you’re working full time. If you have other obligations as a caregiver or provider, you know, definitely think about this.

As you get closer, the field education office, we work very closely with students individually based on your area where you live your interests, but we also wanna make sure that we’re staying true to the program and the requirements and making sure that you’re building that foundation [00:16:00] that you’ll need for a successful career in social work.

So for the generalist year, Like I said it’s 450 hours. And then once you complete that, we’ll work on your specialization, your practicum. Again, we’ll walk you through the same process. We’ll look at agencies in your area. It’ll also. Depend on your specialization. So if you’re specializing in children, youth, and families, or adults in healthy aging, your practicum will have to align with that specialization.

So we just wanna make sure that the majority of your time is working with the population that you’re specializing in for the program. So with your specialization year, it is more hours, but the structure and the setup is the same. It’ll be fall and spring. So that’ll be 6 96 and 6 98. You can see on this page, it’s the same.

Same course numbers for children, youth, and families, and adults in healthy aging, but it is 600 hours for your specialization year per week. It’s 20 hours. Oftentimes students will do two, two and a half to [00:17:00] three days during the week for their practicum. But I will say that a lot of this also depends on the agency and when services are being provided to clients, we wanna make sure that you’re able to engage with clients, but also as Dr. King mentioned, The policy is a very important part of social work. And so we wanna make sure that you have the opportunity to engage in policy practice as well that you’ll be doing as a social worker. That’s, you’re building the skills that you need that are gonna be transferable across the board.

Wherever you land, especially for your specialization year and beyond that, those skills that you develop in the generalist, your practicum are going to, to set you up for success. We start working with students usually around December, January before the fall of that year. So it is several months. It is a long process.

It’s a lot of communication back and forth and trying to identify agencies that might be of interest. Also again, that align with [00:18:00] your specialization. And also if you’re in one of the stipend programs, that is another factor that will affect your practicum. So we wanna make sure that everything aligns and that you’re getting the experience that you need to meet the program requirements.

And I would be glad to answer any questions. Again, most of the practicums are during normal business hours. It is a process as far as finding your placement. That includes an interview. So we treat this as close to a job interview as possible. So we expect students to be professional, uh, respond to agencies when they’re looking to schedule interviews and just be prepared for that process before the fall semester starts, when you’re scheduled to begin your practicum.

And then we also, we do have the option for an employment based practicum. There is an application process for that as well. If you’re working full time for a social services agency, where you may be able to work on your assignments. If [00:19:00] you’re working with clients already and have the supervision that you need at your agency, then we can look at that as a potential option as well.

And just to further expand on what Ms. Hensley said, one thing to keep in mind is to start thinking about what your time requirements are going to be. And if you are working full time or working in a certain setting, you may want to start now with talking to your employer about how you can adjust your hours.

To accommodate your, um, your change and your time commitments with this, with the program. One thing to keep in mind is that. When you first start the program, depending on which track you take, if you go the traditional part-time route where you’re taking just two classes each semester, one class in each eight week session, that’s going to look a little bit different.

Whereas if you’re taking the more accelerated option and you’re taking three classes a [00:20:00] semester, think about what your time is going to look like. And. The level of workload is going to be, when you start your practicum, you will still be taking other courses while you’re going to your internship, going to work and taking other courses.

So really start thinking through what your time is going to look like and how you may want to start looking at adjusting your time and adjusting any work hours or making certain arrangements with your current employer. And I’ve gotta say this. The practicums are a wonderful opportunity to apply all the wonderful things that you’re learning and to network as well.

And the fact that we offer assistance with obtaining your practicum is absolutely fantastic. There was a question. Dr. King regarding the regular versus the accelerated. Alyssa, [00:21:00] are you clear on that or do we need to elaborate a little bit more? So, so basically. The semesters are 16 weeks. They’re broken down into two terms, two eight week terms.

Okay. So if you’re a regular student or traditional student, what you do is you take one class every eight weeks. If it’s accelerated, what you’ll do is one of those terms, you’ll take two classes and then the other term, you’ll just take one. So I hope that makes sense. If not, I’m happy to clarify. At some other point and then another student says, are we able to toggle between accelerated and part-time Dr. King. So with, yeah, essentially, yes. What you wanna do, if you start on the part-time path and you determine after a semester of getting used to being back in school, you determined you wanna take additional classes or take the accelerated option. Yes, you can do that. And maybe [00:22:00] after. Going the accelerated option.

Different life changes happened and your time is different and you want to go down to part-time or not take three classes in a semester. You can do that as well. The students also have the option of. You don’t, you also don’t have to take two classes in each semester. You decide you wanna just get started with one class this semester and see how that goes.

You can do that as well. I, we do have some students who modify their course plan a little bit, but that would require them having a conversation with myself as the program coordinator and their success coach, Sarah Foley, who you will meet, should you decide to apply and enter the program? So I, I, I see a question here about how many years in total, and we don’t reference total years for the program we reference the program is 60 credits to complete whether it is the acceler, whether it’s the accelerated option or part-time option.

The program is 60 credits for the [00:23:00] part-time option is 60 credits in 10 semesters. And for the accelerated option. It’s 60 credits over roughly about eight semesters. And so that really is the difference. And we don’t really talk in terms of years because sometimes students get our course plan, sometimes different things happen where students take a break.

And so that impacts also the completion time for advanced standing students. They complete the program in 33 credit. Okay, and this is a great question. So the stipends are, they only applicable for people that are working in Virginia. So with the stipend programs, you do want to be in the state of Virginia, especially for the child welfare stipend program, because it is a specific partnership.

With the state of Virginia. And there are certain requirements for some in person or synchronous activities where you do want to make sure you are close enough to get to campus for [00:24:00] the behavioral health stipend program. I believe it’s the same as well, because there are some in person requirements with those stipend programs.

Gotcha. And another question for students who live in the DMV area, do you help them with the field placement or just recommend agencies? So again, and Ms. Hensley can clarify. She did say that the field education office works with students on locating their placement. One thing to keep in mind is that.

The social work department or our field education office. We have partnerships with certain agencies that are agreeing to host students. So doing your field practicum or an agency hosting you is not an automatic thing. Agencies are not getting paid any additional money supervisors for students at those agencies are not getting paid.

Anything additional. They’re doing it because it’s part of our mandate as a profession. It’s part of our code of ethics. It’s part of our [00:25:00] accreditation standards with the council and social work education that we provide those services as professionals to students. And so the field education office will work with students on locating those place.

Okay, thank you for that. I was just gonna say we do have a pretty large database, especially in the DMV area. We’re always adding and we’re always growing based on where students live. We look in specific areas, but we also do have a pretty solid database within the area here. But as Dr. King mentioned, these agencies are doing this because they want to support the next generation of social workers and they are very passionate.

Being mentors and guiding social workers into their careers. But yeah, we do have a partnership with a lot of agencies, but the field education office is our role is to coordinate those placements. And so we need to make sure not only that the agency can provide the opportunities and the [00:26:00] hours and the supervision, but also that they’re meeting the requirements for George Mason and we, our accreditation and making sure that everything.

Is in check there, but yes, and we’re always adding new agencies. We’re not limited to specific types of agencies. If the opportunities are there and it’s like a great opportunity and it’s approved by the field education office, then we can certainly look at that as a new option. So we’re open to growing for sure.

And I did get one question that was related to online versus in person. And I do think that it really is up to each applicant or each student to know who they are and to know themselves and to know what they’re looking for and what their educational needs are to determine if online or in person is, you know, going to be most appropriate for you.

The, the primary difference of course, is that for the online program, it is asynchronous and asynchronous means that it’s primarily self-directed [00:27:00] that there is instruction from instructors, but that’s in a virtual format. That you are getting more prerecorded lectures. Instructors will do weekly course announcements and instructors communicate with students primarily via email, whereas in person it is that more traditional educational format you are in person.

Keep in mind that for the in person classes, the classes are scheduled on certain days and certain times. So you also wanna keep in mind what your work schedule is because a class may not necessarily be offered in the evening all the time in person classes are offered at various times and on various days in person.

So you also wanna think about what your time is and what that would look like for you. To be able to take classes in person versus online. And now if you are a student or a person that you need that kinda in person face to face interaction, an asynchronous online program may not fully [00:28:00] meet those needs.

And I think you wanna just be really sure about what your needs are and what your learning needs are in deciding between in person and. Perfect. Perfect. Lots of questions scrolling through. Are you able to switch to the in person program? If you’re local, do you have to be in the accelerated course schedule in order to do that?

So students can switch between in person. Or online one time, meaning you can go from the online program to the on campus program, or you can go from the on campus program to the online program, but you can only make that switch once and you can only do it in fall and spring semesters. And there are deadlines.

So for fall semester, the deadline to apply. To what we call to switch your calendar because the online program on campus programs are on a little bit of a different calendar or time difference. And so August 1st is the deadline to get that change [00:29:00] of calendar form submitted. If you want to make the switch for fall semester.

For spring semester, it’s December 1st. And those are the only two times that you can make that switch between the two different learning modalities is fall and spring semester, and you don’t have to be in any type of accelerated option. To make that switch. If you are part-time student, you can make that switch to on campus.

Okay. Thank you for that. And Stephanie’s asking, do you have a suggestion at what’s specialty? I should choose because she’s saying my understanding is that it has to be declared when applying. So you don’t actually have to declare. And I, I do see that because I’m also the person that reviews the applications.

And I do see that some students have, or applicants have determined a specialization or their application. From my perspective, I don’t the declaring, the specialization doesn’t impact my decision on an applicant. The declaring of specialization is a university [00:30:00] requirement, but students don’t actually do that until after they get into the program.

And typically students declare their specialization when they are nearing the end of their generalist courses. So before you get ready to start your specialization courses, it’s really when you have to declare the specialization, because there’s a form that students fill out that as the coordinator of the program.

We’ll sign and then it goes on for processing. So it’s really not something that you have to do as part of the application process. I don’t think it will impact the application. I know that I don’t look at it when I review applications because students don’t have to do that until after they get into the program.

I would say in deciding which specialization you want to declare, it’s really more so about looking at what population you want to serve. Again, this is a university requirement. And so when I meet with students to talk about declaring the specialization, I even tell them that. Regardless of what population you work [00:31:00] with.

You always end up working across populations. For instance, if you’re working with children, you are inadvertently going to end up working with adults anyway. because children are in families with adults and vice versa. If you decide that adults and healthy aging is your special. You often end up inadvertently working with children because many adults live in multi-generational families and children are oftentimes in those families.

So I do tell students that even though they are declaring a specific specialization, that when it comes to the electives that they choose to take, it may be a good idea to take an elective that crosses into the other specializations, just so that you are a little bit more well rounded. When you are going into the field, but again, this is just looking at what population do you want to work with as a career in the field of social work.

Thank you for that. And then there, Alyssa there’s three semesters per year. And you were [00:32:00] asking, when do you start the generalist practicum? And when do you start the specialized practicum? Dr. King? Do you wanna answer that? So practicum’s always start in fall semester and you won’t start the generalist practicum until that following fall semester.

So for instance, if you start. In fall of 2022, you won’t start your generalist practicum until fall of 2023. And you wouldn’t start your specialization practicum until you have completed your generalist courses to include your generalist practicum. Okay. Thank you for that. And Kim is asking, I currently work with a foster care agency just to be sure I can also do my field work at my.

Correct. Mm-hmm so there is an application and it does have to go through the field education office. So just because you work at a site, doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to make sure that they have the supervision we need to make. There’s a lot of factors that are involved in, in [00:33:00] finalizing plans for replacement.

And we don’t begin working on that until usually about this early spring ahead of that fall semester, when you’re scheduled to start your practicum, a lot of things. If we were to say, that sounds like a great fit. Let’s go with that option for whenever you’re ready to start your practicum, a hundred million things could change between now and then supervision.

Availability may change. The agency might change its policies, which has happened in the past. So that’s something we need to look at closer to the fall. Semester, but we can certainly look at that as an option. So when we get to that point, mention it to the field education office. When we start those conversations about your upcoming practicum.

Cause we can definitely try to take all options into consideration and see what’s gonna be the best fit. Thanks. And another question to, we have international field placement option. So we do not. Okay. There you go. Practicums have to be completed in the United States. [00:34:00] Okay. And this is a application question.

If your GPA is under 3.0, is there a way to still apply for the program and be considered students? Yes, you can still apply and still be considered. I would say you want to make sure that you provide a very clear explanation for why your GPA is under a three point. And it’s also helpful if you show that you have experience working in the field of social work, or you have just some other experiences that would make your application.

Like volunteer. I don’t like volunteer mm-hmm taking other college level courses or you’ve pursued another graduate degree. Or again, if you have some extensive work history in the field of social work, that’s definitely helpful. So just a question why Mason? [00:35:00] What makes Mason special? Why should we, why should students come to Mason for their MSW degree?

All right. I was just waiting to see if miss ley was kicking off. I think Mason is a great place to obtain a graduate degree. I think our focus on really. Advocating for or advancing social justice is, is great. I think that we have faculty that are leaders in the field and are engaging in research. And the other thing that I didn’t mention also is that Mason has our research lab is called swirl, and that makes us unique as well in that students can engage and hands on research in the field of social work and our proximity to the district of Columbia makes our field practicum experiences more rich.

A second thought. I, and we have some fantastic faculty. And I do think that there seems to be a closeness with students [00:36:00] and listening to individual concerns and trying to work as closely as possible. But again, not being biased towards field education, but we do have some really great opportunities in this area being so close to DC.

We have had some students, and I’m not saying that this is a guaranteed. It all depends on agency availability, but even with virtual placements, that has been a way to open up some doors to agencies that are in the DC area. If you’re looking for. Some of that experience. We’re always listening to the needs, also listening to the needs of the community, to see where social work is headed and trying to add practicum based on that instead of just staying static and not growing with the needs.

And I think towards makes sense, a great job of keeping up with things and trying to stay ahead as in serving the community as much as possible. Great. And I saw one question related to accepting international students and we do [00:37:00] and have accepted students internationally, but you just need to be mindful that your field practicum has to occur in the United States in person.

So I would just keep that in mind, if you are an international student and you are applying. And, uh, I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing your name correctly. I, my apologies Zep is also asking, what do you look for in a reference letter with the reference letter? You want someone that can speak to your academic ability as well as your professional ability.

Someone that can really speak to your goodness of fit for the MSW program and not just for the MSW program, but also for the field of social. Often we get students that have taken a certain number of courses and then decide that the field of social work is not for them. So I do think you wanna be very sure before you start graduate school and start [00:38:00] the MSW program that.

Social work is the career path that you’re choosing. And this is the area of work that you want to do, especially because you are spending a certain amount of money to get a graduate degree. And I think you want reference letters that can speak to your fit with the field of social work, your academic ability you want professional reference letters and not from family or friends. You want more, I think supervisors more kind of college professors that can speak to your academic ability. Thank you. And so Nana is asking, so if you’re applying to start for fall 2022, you won’t start your practicum until fall 2023. Correct. Okay. All right.

One other great thing about Mason is we’re an accredited program by the CS w E and also we have exceptional pass rates for the L S w [00:39:00] exam. Isn’t that correct? Dr. King. So the MSW program does prepare students to apply for licensure in the state of Virginia. And so we do prepare student. For that process.

And I know a lot of students end up wanting to pursue an LCSW, which is the licensed clinical social worker licensed to practice independently. Before that you can get the LSW, which is just the licensed social worker that you can get. After completion of the MSW, but we prepare students to sit for licensure or to apply for licensure.

Excellent. And a student is asking, can you share more about swirl? Is that something you can be a part of as an online student? So again, swirl is the research lab. And so we do have graduate research assistants that yes. Online students [00:40:00] can apply to be a graduate research assistant, and we also have GTAs or graduate teaching assistants and online students can apply for either of those positions.

Oh wow. That’s great. Okay. Wonderful. And a question is when the program ends, is there a seminar or session about the steps that students need to take to earn their license and obtaining hours? So we don’t have a seminar or a class that students take, but throughout the year, we do have various workshops where different officers from the Virginia NES chapter of N a S w will come and talk about the licensure and supervision process with the definitely with the child welfare stipend program. They also will host various workshops that talk about licensure. So there will be workshops throughout the year that talk about the licensure process and what students need to do to prepare for that. Excellent. And Stephanie’s asking, I graduated [00:41:00] in 2004 and have not been in an academic setting since then is a reference from an academic, uh, requirement.

It’s not a requirement. And just because you’ve been out of school for a certain number of years, doesn’t mean that you know, that professor couldn’t still write a letter of recommendation for you, but it or academic is not a requirement, but you want someone that can speak to your academic ability and your ability to be a good fit for the program.

Sure. Okay. Thank you so much. And can you talk about, is there any group projects versus individual work? So there are some courses that have group assignments built in to where you will need to coordinate with other classmates. And that’s not every assignment, but there are some assignments that do require.

Or some courses that do require group work. [00:42:00] And some of those courses, there is an option to. Do assignments individually, or to do them as a group. And in some courses, the assignments have to be done as a group. Again, it’s not every course and it’s not every assignment, but be prepared for having to engage in some group work.

The way that I tend to explain it to students is that as social workers, when we’re out in the field, we sometimes practice or we sometimes participate. Multidisciplinary teams and having to do group work helps you prepare for working with. Different individuals, different personalities and it prepares you for working on that multidisciplinary team.

Okay, wonderful. Thank you. And in terms of communication with faculty, are there office hours where students can meet with faculty? Yes. So faculty will hold virtual office hours via zoom. The times and days that virtual [00:43:00] office hours occur vary from professor to professor, but virtual office hours are offered and are held wonderful.

And are those recorded? They are not. So office hours generally are not recorded because it’s the time for students to come individually and discuss their own individual issues or questions about the course. And it wouldn’t be appropriate to record office hours because students are coming to discuss their own individual needs.

When instructors do say optional synchronous class sessions or lecture videos, those things are recorded and placed in the classroom, in the virtual classroom for students to access, but not virtual office hours. Perfect. And are there any networking opportunities for online students? One thing that we like to say in the social work department at Mason is that we have one MSW program, but two different learning modalities online and on campus.

So we make sure [00:44:00] that. We, when we offer things on campus, we make sure that we have a component so that online students can also participate. We have an MSW student association that students can online. Students can get involved with. We have different committees such as our diversity and social justice committee that students online students can participate in.

We also have an alumni network. Faculty that kind of manage the alumni connection will also make sure that those connections are made throughout the year as the coordinator for the program. I do quarterly student meetings and that’s an opportunity for students to meet other students in the program and just talk about some of the upcoming things that are happening within the program.

So those are some of the opportunities that students have. For networking. But again, throughout the year, there will be various workshops and activities that students can attend. We [00:45:00] celebrate social work month in March. And so there are a lot of activities that occur for social work month that students can participate in regardless of if they’re online or on campus.

Wonderful. Thank you for that. So we’re nearing the one o’clock the one hour mark. So any more questions I also wanted, not really a question. But with the practicum that coincides with that practicum, just, we wanna make sure that you’re not just clocking hours at an agency. We wanna make sure that it’s a learning experience and that you’re developing those skills.

And so the seminar helps to guide you throughout that practicum. That’s where you’ll get your assignments. You’ll have a syllabus, but there are some discussion boards, journals and things like that as well. And occasionally there may be guest speakers, something along those. This isn’t really networking, but you will be engaging with other students through the discussion board.

And occasionally students, multiple students will be placed at the same agency. We do have some agencies that will take anywhere from five to 10 students. Some agencies will only have [00:46:00] space for one student, but occasionally you’ll be placed in an agency where you may be interacting with other students and working alongside them as well.

The practicum can, can add to that too, but also I just wanna let you know, there is a seminar. That goes with the practicum, just to make sure that what you’re learning in the classroom is linked to what you’re doing in the. Setting so that it ties everything together. That’s great. Thank you for that. And one student is asking what is the average age for the program?

So I assume that you’re meaning the age of the students. Okay. It, it really does vary because it is an online program. We tend to also, we tend to get a lot of students that may have had a break in their education and are considered to be non-traditional students. And so those ages could ages, could range anywhere from 20 to 60.

It really varies. So it’s a [00:47:00] little difficult to answer that question because the ages do vary. So. Sure. Okay. Anybody else? And of course, with the application process, again, I’m happy to assist. So I will go ahead and place the information in the chat box here. And some y’all said that. You weren’t able to access it.

So I’ll do it in the chat and in the Q and a and Dr. King was kind enough to post her email into the chat. So definitely wanna look at that Dr. King acceptance rate, the student is asking, is she asking the percentage of students that are accepted or I assume so. Okay. It’s a little difficult to answer that question as well.

I will [00:48:00] say I’ve been reviewing applications for fall 22, and I will say that I have probably accepted the acceptance rate has been maybe 85%. Of the applicants that have applied your admissions reps can help you with that to determine whether you’re a good candidate for the program. Sometimes for example, and correct me if I’m wrong, Dr. King, if you have say you just graduated from school. Okay. So you don’t have very much work experience and your GPA ISN. Is well below, uh, a 3.0, so say a 2.5. We would maybe suggest taking some non-degree seeking graduate level. Courses in social work and get a beer better to show that you can be successful in the program because that’s the name of the game.

Now on the other hand, say for example, you have a low GPA, but you’ve been working in the social [00:49:00] work field for 2020 years. Okay. That’s a completely different. Scenario. So we look at the person as a whole. We don’t look at you necessarily by your GPA. Okay. If you’re not at that GPA of a 3.0, it’s not like we’re gonna write you off again.

We look at you as a person and I’m not sure if Dr. King mentioned there is the option of the GPA addendum that you can complete because sometimes. Very legitimate reasons as to why your GPA suffered. So everything is taken into a consideration along with your personal statement and your references. And I would say we also look at a grammar, um, With the personal statement.

Correct. So you wanna make sure that’s well written and I believe on the application, not even just with the personal statement, but I do think it specified [00:50:00] that we do want to see graduate level writing with your essay for exactly application process, specifically APA seventh edition, because that is the writing style that has been adopted by the field of social.

So we do wanna ensure that students are able to write at that professional graduate level. Yeah, it’s important. Very important. Thank you for all your questions. Let me just check and make sure there’s no more questions before we go. Uh, I don’t see anything. And Ms. Hinsley added her email as well. Um, for any of your questions regarding field education, and I really appreciate y’all posting your emails for potential student questions, but of course, reach out to your admissions rep if you’re not.

If, and if you’re not already working with an admissions rep, Please feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help. Okay. That’s our job. That’s what we’re here for. And I don’t see any other questions. All right. Wow. 1:00 PM sharp. [00:51:00] So wanna be respective of everyone’s time. So thank you much. Thank you so much for joining us.

We hope it was informative. And let us know if you have any further questions. We’re again, happy to assist. Thank you for joining us today. Anything else Dr. King or miss Heley? No, there we go. Thank you for, for joining us. And thank you for your interest in the MSW program here at George Mason. Absolutely.

Thanks so much. Y’all have a great day.

MHA Health Systems Management Transcript

JANESSA: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to our virtual open house for the online Master’s of Health Administration program here at George Mason.

We are very excited to get started have everyone join us. I am just going to wait a little while though. I want to give everyone a little bit of time to join in case they’re on their lunch break. Or joining in a different setting.

So I want to give everyone a chance to get used to the Zoom platform, get logged in. While we’re waiting though if you guys wouldn’t mind practice utilizing the boxes on your screen.

So you should see two. There is a chat box, and there is a question and answers box. Feel free to use either of them for questions. But right now, go ahead and utilize the chat function.

Let us know where you’re joining us from. It’s lunch time so maybe what you’re having for lunch or what your favorite meal is. But go ahead and just let me know the audio is coming through clearly, you’re able to hear us.

We’ll get started in just a few minutes as everyone is starting to trickle in.

Also, while you are chatting, there’s two different options. So make sure you see who you are sending your chats to. You can send them to just the host and panelists, or you can send it to everyone. Up to you. I’ll be able to see it, but go ahead and just let us know that you can hear us.

OK. We have some chips, and Oh. It’s well balanced. We’ve got some kale and yogurt with Doritos. I like it. I did a quick lunch and had a hard boiled egg. So we are running on fumes here, but where we’re going good. Perfect. All right. Looks like everyone can hear us.


JANESSA: Hey, everyone.

MARIA URIYO: Michigan. Virginia.

JANESSA: Yeah. All on the East Coast over here it, looks like.

MARIA URIYO: Starbucks. Yes.

JANESSA: Ooh. BOGO Starbucks. How did you run across that deal?


JANESSA: Yeah. A little bit of everywhere. OK. All right. Well, thank you guys for spending your lunch breaks or whatever time it is where you are with us. We appreciate it, really here just to make sure you guys have a thorough understanding of our program. We are joined today with some faculty, so I want to give them a chance to introduce themselves in just a moment.

But it looks like everything’s going well. So I’m going to go ahead and just get started. Again, throughout the presentation, please feel free to utilize the chat, as well as the questions and answers function through Zoom. I’m going to be keeping an eye on both of them. So happy to touch base on either of them.

My name again is Janessa. I am an admissions representative here with our online program, here as a resource to share information, answer questions, guide you through the application process, if it’s something you decide to move forward with or you’re already working towards.

I am joined this afternoon with our program coordinator, Dr. Uriyo, who you will meet very, very shortly. But, again, excited to have everyone here to learn about the program.

Again, before we jump into everything, just a few housekeeping. There is the chat and the questions box. Feel free to utilize them as you wish. We do have a dedicated time for questions and answers towards the end of the presentation.

So we want to make sure, we have a lot of information to cover, that we are staying on track. So we’ll make sure to address all of those towards the end, unless something is pressing and really relates to what we’re discussing at the moment.

Without further ado, go ahead and start by introducing– oh, we’re going to go over our agenda first. So today as I mentioned earlier, we are joined by some faculty. Our program director is not able to make it this afternoon. But we will hear a little bit about her.

We will also hear from our program coordinator, Dr. Uriyo. We’ll go over some of the competencies of our MHA program, as well as the accreditation. You can learn a little bit more about that from our end, we have our capstone project. We’ll give you some examples of that, what you can expect from it.

Some of our extracurriculars, how you can meet some other students get involved outside of just the classes.

A little bit more about how our online format is going to work, what it’s going to consist of, and then our career outlooks. What you can expect leaving the program. And then review some of our admissions requirements and some questions and answers.

All right, so Dr. Uriyo, if you wouldn’t mind giving us a little overview of our program director, Dr. Sheingold.

MARIA URIYO: OK. Thank you so much. So I’ll be talking, but my camera will be off. I’m just going to begin. Welcome everybody today, and I really appreciate the opportunity that you’re giving us talk about our program, and to encourage you to apply.

So Dr. Sheingold, who is the program director, couldn’t make it today. But briefly, she has a dual degree from George Mason University in public policy and nursing, as well as a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business, where she got her certificate in Women’s Leadership and Change Management.

She also is a nurse by training, and she practiced for more than 20 years in emergency nursing, in the emergency department. She also pioneered the sexual assault nurse examiner procedure in Arlington, Virginia, to provide medical forensic care to survivors of sexual assault.

So me and Dr. Sheingold, we work really closely together for both– so, she oversees the on campus students, and I oversee the online students. So we work really closely together. Next slide, please.

So, I’m the assistant professor in the MHA online program, and the MHA online program coordinator in the department. Before joining George Mason University, I was a program director at Medicalincs, an independent, minority-owned health care consulting firm that is located in Maryland.

And in that organization, I oversaw the rare and expensive medical conditions program that provided care to clients residing in some of the counties within Maryland. Before joining Medicalincs, I was the program manager of NCQA accreditation at Johns Hopkins Health Care in Glen Burnie, Maryland. So next slide, please.

OK. So in terms of the MHA program, it’s CAHME accredited, and it was accredited in 2019. And so the program is designed to develop student proficiency in the competencies that are necessary for future success within the health care sector.

So we look at the following domains. We look at knowledge of the health care system and health care management. We look at communications and interpersonal effectiveness. We go into critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving. Management and leadership. Professionalism and ethics.

So each domain has multiple competencies, and the program has 16 different classes. And each of them add up to about four to seven credits. So as you enroll in the different classes, you can look at the syllabus and each syllabus will tell you what competency the material covering, what competency their aligned to. So next slide, please.

So when it comes to one of the requirements from CAHME is that students need to finish the class by doing a capstone project. So in terms of this composition of the students that we have, about 69% of the students in our program are from like Virginia, Maryland and DC area, while about 31% are from the surrounding states like California, New York, Hawaii, West Virginia, Georgia, for example.

So since the capstone is the culminating experience, we require that students reach out and connect to health care organizations, either where they’re working, or organization that they would like to get into. And identify a preceptor.

And the preceptor would then assign you a project that is critical to the organization. So that the result of your project would enable them to move to come to a solution, or move towards a solution.

Typically, the capstone project is the last class you take and it is going to require you to complete everything within six weeks. So the scope and the scale of your work should be contained within those six weeks.

And again, we as a faculty, me and Dr. Sheingold, are the ones who oversee this class. And we work closely with you to make sure that you are able to meet the milestones that we give throughout the eight week period.

The class is opened, typically, because of the work that you’re supposed to put into it we usually open it 10 weeks before the actual start time, so that you’re able to use that time to identify who your preceptor would be. And to get all the documentation necessary done ahead of time so that, when the window opens, when the class opens, you are on your way and ready to go.

We give you more details, but essentially the preceptor cannot be your direct boss. If you are, let’s say you are in some hospital by the name of X. Your preceptor cannot be your direct supervisor in that X organization.

It can be somebody in another department who can be the preceptor for your project. So next slide, please.

So these are just some places that students are currently going to do their capstone project at, and are currently also doing the projects at MedStar INOVA, Culpepper Garden, Sibley, NOVA Scripts Central.

So these are just a few. There are many more. I just wanted to highlight as an idea of where our students go to. Actually, can you go back to the slide before, please?

In some aspects, when it comes to the capstone project, some preceptors allow for work to be done remotely. Some require for you to come on-site. And some do hybrid.

So, let’s say you are in California, and you’re working for a hospital out there in California. You are able to do your capstone research in the organization, that’s fine.

But if you are unable to find a location, we have a student who is in California. And they are doing their project for Culpepper Gardens, which is located in Arlington County in Virginia. So any barrier you encounter, we always look for solutions, and finding ways to help you succeed, help you finish the program on time and successfully.

So, aside from just taking classes, we are very interested in making sure that you are able to involve and engage in activities outside of the classroom.

So, the first bullet point there, RHLM, is a student-led organization from the Health Department for the MHA students.

And by default, all MHA students enrolled in the master’s program become members of this organization. They have their own dedicated website within our course management site. We use Blackboard.

So right in there, when you enroll, you find yourself enrolled in that group, and we use that group to communicate opportunities, provide you with opportunities to engage, and take part in some leadership experiences. So, even become leaders of that organization as well.

The other one is the National Capital Healthcare Executives, which is part of the NCHE. So, you can become a member of that in this Northern Virginia area.

And because, as I said because 69% of the students are within the Northern Virginia area, you’re able to network with the hospitals around here, the executives around here. Also the students from other local universities like George Washington, Georgetown, so things like that. Those opportunities are available.

Other organizations are AcademyHealth. They have a student chapter. We have a faculty who also oversees that chapter, so you can engage and take part in all the different programs that they offer.

The last bullet there I will talk about is the National Case Competitions. We encourage students to take part in these competitions. And students, irregardless of geography, are able to partner up. And we assign a faculty to oversee that effort. And students run away with it, and compete.

So there shouldn’t be any barriers to prevent you from taking part in these case competitions. Next slide, please.

I wanted to share these slides. This picture, these are some students who, even during the pandemic, took part in case competitions. And, on the top right, you can see, because of the COVID pandemic, some of the case competitions went virtual. And we had three students here who were able to participate and compete, and won first place.

I think where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if you’re interested, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t engage yourself. Next slide.

Just additional pictures of students who have taken part in the case competitions in previous years.

You are applying for the online program. The online program is similar to the traditional on-campus program. They’re basically all the same. Just the mode of delivery is different.

One is in-person. The other one is online. You are all taking the same material, being taught the same subjects.

And also, we have over 15 faculty members, and four of those are full time and the rest are just part time. And 86% of applicants who apply into the program are accepted into the program.

So it’s very flexible. The online program is very flexible. You are able to take the classes, typically they are offered at the end of the day. Some of them are asynchronous, meaning you can take them at your own pace, at your own time within the eight week time frame. So they are deadline driven.

And you can only take one class within an eight week period. We do not allow for people taking more than one class within an eight week period. And this is also a requirement that we standardize how we offer our classes across the board.

So again, the total credit hours is for the 7. And we are ranked 33rd nationally by US News and World Report.

And the picture down here is the current leadership in the RHLM organization. The lady to the right is the president of the organization. And actually, they have been very instrumental this year in creating and putting together a symposium that will be taking place on March 19. Collaborating with NCHE and SCHE.

So the event is free. Because of that, it has filled up very quickly. But again, these are the things that you can engage and take part in when you become a student at George Mason University. Next slide, please.

When it comes to career outlook, at least within three months of graduating from the program, 93% of the students have indicated that they’ve gotten work in the field of interest.

Many of our students go work in hospitals, health systems, consulting and regulatory entities, managed care organizations, local, state, and federal government agencies.

We also have students who are also within the military, and so that’s another location where students also continue to grow within their roles.

Because of you all taking this degree for growth, for targeting. I don’t know where you want to go, but I would encourage you to engage with each other, because you may find that people some students are working in organizations that you are interested in.

And we encourage students to network within themselves and network within the faculty, and a lot of the classes that we teach we bring in external speakers.

And if what the speaker is speaking about captivates you, keep the contacts and maintain a communication channel with them. Because you can find that you use them for your capstone project and then opportunities may open up and you may find your next place to work at or growth in your career.

So, these are the admission requirements. You need to complete an online application. There is a $75 application fee.

You need to also provide us with your resume, two letters of recommendation, and an essay that talks about why it is that you’re interested in the program. Why are you interested in the master’s degree? And how do you see yourself using it?

We also require minimum GPA of 3.0. And you would have to submit your undergraduate, and if you’ve taken some partial graduate classes also, you have to submit those as well.

There will also be a video interview. The ones I’ve seen, typically they’re between five to 10 minutes. And those interviews are being provided by the admissions office. So you’ll work closely with them as you go through the application process, and they will guide you as to when to do what, when.

So when it comes to the application we look at the whole application holistically, and to determine whether it’s a yes, we want to move forward, or not. So, that’s it. Next slide.

This is the phone number you can use to either call or send an email if you have any questions about the program, or the application process.

JANESSA: Yes. Thank you so much Dr. Uriyo. We really appreciate it. We’re really here as a resource for you guys, so we want to make sure that we’re able to address any questions.

I know we were emailed in some questions before the start of the open house earlier this week. So I do have a list of those. So I’ll run through those in just a moment. But also, please feel free everyone. Utilize the chat function.

If you’re more comfortable with the questions and answers, go ahead and start sending those in. I’ll be monitoring those, and reading them aloud for Dr. Uriyo to answer.

But to get started, there’s a lot of fears with an online program, as far as how faculty maintains communication with them. So are there opportunities to network with faculty specifically? Do professors still hold office hours in the online setting?

MARIA URIYO: Yes. In each class that you enroll in, professors will indicate what their office hours are like. And most examples I’ve seen are either you can email them, or they are available at any given time.

But most professors will respond to questions from students at any time. So I would say that students shouldn’t feel that they’re going to be hindered in by taking an online class versus being in-person.

Because communication is key, and the success of the program requires that communication to be healthy and to be active.

JANESSA: OK. Wonderful. Thank you so much. Yeah, that’s a huge concern that we get so nice to know that faculty is still going to be there for questions. We’re not just throwing you guys into a course, and saying good luck.

MARIA URIYO: Yeah. And then, I will add to that, because as an online coordinator, I work with some of the adjunct faculty. And then also the we have success coaches as well. So if there are any issues, concerns, our students have several ways in which of communicating with the program, with me, concerning issues in the class or issues that they’re having so they can be resolved.

JANESSA: OK. Wonderful. Yeah, the student success coaches are there throughout the entire duration of your program. So feel free to reach out to them as a resource as well. Let’s see. All right, so I know we had one question to ask about some requirements from applying internationally.

So, our international status is determined by where you most recently received your degree from. So your most recent degree, what country that school is located in.

I would recommend reaching out to your admissions representative. If you don’t have one, we will have one reach out to you after the open house. But we will essentially need to have your degree evaluated through one of our nascent agencies.

Most typically, we see utilized West World Education Services and ECE. But we’ll need a course by course evaluation. It can come from any of those agencies to determine the equivalency, and then we will also typically need some type of English fluency exam. We have a few different options listed on our website.

But again, our faculty and our admissions representatives, will be able to determine exactly what would be best in your situation.

Then, Dr. Uriel we had a question about the GPA requirement. Is there any flexibility around that 3.0?

MARIA URIYO: Yes. There is flexibility around that 3.0. So any student who has a GPA below 3.0 they are required to write an essay as to why that was the case. And then we will look at the whole application, and then make our determination.

JANESSA: Yeah. Wonderful. Yeah, usually your admissions representative will let you know that they’re going to be asking for a GPA, we call it a GPA explanation. Just the circumstances behind why your GPA was a little bit lower. Maybe anything that you’ve done since then can really just help give the committee a holistic view of the circumstances behind it.

MARIA URIYO: Yeah. And students who enroll with a GPA that is less than 3.0, they are given two semesters where they have to ensure that they get a grade of a B or better in the classes that enroll. That’s a requirement.

JANESSA: Perfect. Thank you for that. Going off of some other ones that were submitted ahead. But again, guys, feel free to utilize that questions and answers. What is the committee typically looking for in regards to applicant?

So is this a good program directly out of undergrad? Or are there more students who are coming with a little bit more work experience.

MARIA URIYO: We have a whole range, from those who are coming straight from undergrad to those who have worked for many years. And the criteria we look at is the same. What they write. Why are they interested in the program.

We also look at the interview. How the student carries themselves. How they answer the questions. How they have written their essay.

We also look at the resume, and see what they’ve been involved in. So, the whole range of things. And we are very keen these days to know– careers are never static. People change careers at any time. And, so we want to see how can we be partners, to make sure that your next move makes you successful.

So, I think the main thing, I’ll just throw the ball back to the applicant, is to make sure that they sell that clearly so that we can see how can we engage and partner with you to make you successful.

JANESSA: Wonderful. Thank you. I know I definitely worked with individuals who are wrapping up their bachelor’s degree, as well as have quite a few years of work experience.

And, one of the things we always share in our office is just make sure when you’re writing your personal statement, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind after they read that this is the career that you’re looking to get into. This is the degree that’s going to help you reach your goals. Making sure that you’re selling that, and making sure it’s evident that this is what you’re looking for. Definitely helps to boost your file a little bit.


JANESSA: All right. Let’s see. Are there any– and I know you said careers are static, everyone’s changing. But is there a specific field, or are they coming from the same background? Or is it kind of a melting pot of different backgrounds that we’re seeing in the program.

MARIA URIYO: I’m seeing a melting pot. I have students who are graduating with maybe a bachelor and biology. Students who are graduating who have come from working in behavioral health. People who are working in dental offices.

Some students who are in the military, working in the military, military background. So it’s really very, very wide ranging. But there’s always a reason they give is to why they want to get into health care.

And the MHA degree, and the classes you take, and the capstone you will be engaged in, will give you the tools to be able to begin your way to successfully grow your career inside the health care sector.

JANESSA: Oh, that’s a really good point. You’re putting into practice everything that you’re learning. So, even if you’re making a career shift, you do have some experience because you’ve been in an organization and you’ve been putting in the work. That’s a fantastic point.

MARIA URIYO: Yeah, and one thing I’ll add is some of the skills in any administrative or managerial management position are skills that are transferable. How you work with people. How you lead. How you are empathetic.

Those are the soft skills, but then now you want to have the health care, the language to develop the language, and know the rules, the law, and things like that.

But then, there are some of these soft skills that you would have acquired if you’ve worked in other organizations, or other if you have not been in health care, per se. But the things you’ve acquired over the years that can transfer.

JANESSA: Yeah, and make sure they include that information on your resume and your essay somewhere so that the faculty can see it so that they can make those connections as well.


JANESSA: Perfect. A few others again sent in earlier this week, some students asking about how the courses are run. So our lectures recorded? I know we have a lot of working individuals.

So how can a student expect a typical course to be run throughout the program?

MARIA URIYO: So typically, most teachers would record the class. Some teachers meet once a week, and they will record the class, and make the material available for the students who haven’t been able to make it to class.

The asynchronous classes, the content in those classes, you have pre-recorded modules that students go through. And then, of course, students can also reach out to faculty for additional meeting times.

If you’re working on a group project, or if you are doing an assignment you need further clarification, the faculty will be available to meet with you at a given time that works between you and her or him. And also, by email as well.

So, make use of Zoom. Make use of all the technology that’s available right now to make sure that you get your questions answered.

JANESSA: Perfect. Can you actually answer another question that had come through about group assignments? Is that something that’s common. Are capstones usually done together? Or is that an individual assignment?

MARIA URIYO: Capstones? Yeah. Capstones are individual assignments. Everybody does it independently.

JANESSA: OK. Wonderful. Thank you. All right. That’s all the questions that I have, everyone. Last chance. Go ahead and send anything through. While we’re waiting, Dr. Uriyo, if you wouldn’t mind sharing a little bit.

I know you had mentioned you are faculty as well. So tell us a little bit about what your favorite classes are to teach so far in the program.

MARIA URIYO: OK. One of the classes that I taught that I really enjoyed was HAP 704, which is current issues in health care. And, in that class, we were dealing with what’s going on right now.

And I made it so that we invited speakers from within the businesses around here from we got the president from INOVA. Dr. Jones, who came and spoke to the class. We’ve had executives from other surrounding hospitals who have also attended and spoken to the students.

So, it’s a good way of teaching because it’s no longer theory. You are also talking to individuals who are actually living it, and actually leading an organization through a really tough period in history. Basically, dealing with the pandemic, and how it’s affected everyone.

So we’ve had these executives coming in, and being willing to give us their time. And speak to our students. And our students networking with them. And learning how to engage these executives who are higher up the chain in these organizations.

JANESSA: That awesome to be able to hear from individuals who are working there, and get their feedback. And see what the field is like. And answer their questions. That’s an invaluable resource that is really great to be able to have in a class.

You have a few more come through. One question is about the capstone. So you mentioned this a little bit earlier, but a prospective applicant asked. For the capstone, do students get to decide what organization they are working with?

MARIA URIYO: Yes. You decide which organization you are interested to work in. The controlling factor is if the principal within the organization is available. We don’t go looking for capstone or preceptors for you. The students go and look for those opportunities.

JANESSA: OK. Perfect. And I know you mentioned earlier that there was a student in California that was actually working with an organization in Virginia.

So, if a student is having difficulties, are there resources available to them to reach out for assistance?

MARIA URIYO: Yes, so they need to reach out to me or Dr. Sheingold. Typically, me and Dr. Sheingold will make sure that we have some just in case situation opportunities set aside, in case students have not been successful in getting a preceptor.

JANESSA: OK. Wonderful. So just making sure you have that open communication. I think we have answered all of them at this point. So again. Last chance everyone to get your questions in. But again, just want to thank everyone for joining us this afternoon.

My name is Janessa. I work in the admissions office here as a resource. If you guys have any questions about your application, or any follow up questions, you can email the email address that’s on your screen or give us a call.

We have someone typically in from 8:30 until 8:00 PM Eastern time. So please feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to meet you wherever you are in the research process.

|f you’re just starting out comparing and contrasting, or if you’re ready to get started on that application to give you an idea of some of our next start dates.

We do have a summer semester that we still are accepting applications for. Our summer application is a little bit earlier than what people typically anticipate for summer. Classes are going to begin late April. So we have a few more weeks for that application.

Something you want to go ahead and get started on. I highly recommend you start that process, reach out to us. Or we’ll have someone reach out to you with some information.

Thank you so much Dr. Uriyo for joining us this afternoon. Truly appreciate it. There’s no other resource that’s as valuable as you guys jumping on, and sharing your time.

It really shows the commitment that our faculty has to our students. And then thank you all of you for joining us, and showing your interest, and being so interactive. We really appreciate it.

It looks like we have some time left, so I’ll go ahead and honor that. Give it back to you guys. Enjoy your afternoon. And we look forward to speaking with you soon.

MARIA URIYO: Oh. There’s a question.

JANESSA: Yeah. Let’s see. Someone asked how many classes they’re taking in a year. And, yes, that is exactly correct. Two fall, two spring, and two summer.

Again, each of the semesters are about 16 weeks. And you’ll do one course at a time. So we’re going to just break that up. It’s going to be a 16 week semester. We’ll split it up into two eight-week sessions. You’ll do one course the first eight weeks, wrap that up, and then start your next course the next eight weeks.

So kind of giving you an idea of how our semesters work right there. But thank you April for that last minute question. And we’ll go ahead and wrap up, but please feel free to let us know if anything else comes up as you guys are continuing to research. And thank you so much for joining us.

MARIA URIYO: Thank you, everyone.

JANESSA: Have a good one.


Master of Education in Special Education and Graduate Certificates Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome. We’re here today to talk about the masters of education and special education. And I’m Dr. Jody duke. You can just call me Jody. I’m an associate professor of special ed at George Mason, and I’m the coordinator of the autism program. I’ve been at Mason. I, the math is hard, but since 2008, so it’s been a while.

And I have really enjoyed teaching in this program as well as our other special education programs. And prior to that, prior to doing all of my Doctor at work. I was a special ed teacher. I, was in an autism classroom for a very long time and then worked as a resource teacher as well. And I will, oh, and I guess I should talk about research and I do my research focus is on supporting students, autistic students as they transition to college and as they are in college and primarily right now, looking at mental health supports, Chris, I’ll turn it over to you for your intro. [00:01:00]

Oh, I think, yep. You’re still muted. There you go. Oh, I just made the dreaded mute all error. Didn’t I? So I’m Dr. Chris Barel. Thank you, Jody, for the introduction. You can call me Chris or you can students often call me Dr. B. I am the program coordinator for the ABA program. And here to answer any questions that you might have.

I am one of the original early adopters of the B a C B credential. I was certified in 2001. And I’m currently a, B, C, B a D and teach many of the earlier courses in the ABA core sequence. And my area of interest of study is actually twofold. It’s the teaching of behavior analysis. I research methods about teaching people about behavior analysis and also the application of behavior analysis to health wellness, fitness in adult populations and especially [00:02:00] faculty members and academics.

That is me. I will turn it back over to Dr. Duke and we’ll get. All right. So the first thing that we like to talk about is what you can expect from an online program here at George Mason. The I’ll talk about the autism program in particular because the two programs are a little bit different. But our program is set up so that it is completed in an asynchronous manner.

Our modules all open on Tuesday at 12:01 AM Eastern time. When you log in each week, you will have a checklist of things to complete readings lecture, videos to view. We always have PowerPoints that you can download for that to, follow along and then a series of different assignments and engaging activity.

We typically have a discussion board so that you actually get to know people in your class and share ideas, even though you’re not online at the same time. And then some type of application [00:03:00] assignment you can expect to do quite a bit of work. It is a master’s degree or graduate certificate. So it is rigorous.

But you have your own time in which to do it. So everything for the weekly modules for our program is due Monday at 11:59 PM. So you have one minute less than a full week to do that. You can expect to have a lot of interaction with faculty. We, do a lot of zoom office hours. We are always available by appointments.

Everything is recorded so that if you’re not able to make an office hours, we always post that for you as well. So I would say that you can expect to do the work, but also feel supported and feel like you’re a part of the community, no matter where you are. Chris, is there anything you wanna say different for ABA related to this?

I think pretty much what you do, Jody is the same as what we do. I think the only difference really is that we do have a bit more interactive group work, [00:04:00] where people meet the meeting times are usually on they’re scheduled by the group. We don’t say you have to meet at seven o’clock on a Tuesday night or anything like that.

But there are some meeting expectations because one of the skills that you have to learn as a behavior analyst is collabo. So we do a lot of teaching about collaboration by doing and the other thing to expect from the ABA program is that we are trying to prep you as best as possible for that B a C B exam.

So there’s a lot of emphasis on learning terms. Correct. Definitions of terms, because a lot of the terms have been a little co-opted over the. And may not mean the things that you think they mean. And so a lot of that, and I would say, as Jody said, we also then teach you how to take all that stuff and apply it to your work.

So that’s the main difference between ABA and autism, I would [00:05:00] say.

All right. And here when we talk about driving forces, like what is gonna bring you to a program like autism or ABA? There are things that are really important to kind. Understand to differentiate between the two programs. Sometimes that’s something that people have questions about. The autism program in particular was designed to prepare you to be a professional, working with autistic individuals in just about any field.

We are not a school based program, but we do include information about education, but we also do adult service. Employment. We even have a lot of family members who participate in our program so they can advocate for their loved ones more effectively. So really just about any field. We also have some really interesting successful graduates who have opened their own consulting businesses or advocacy businesses at this point, according to CDC, one in 44, children is being [00:06:00] diagnosed with autism.

And we need so many professionals in this field. And one of the areas where we need them the most is adult services actually. Just because we have so many children who are obviously growing up and aging this is really an important piece of making sure that as a society, we have prepared professionals to assist autistic individuals, to honor their voices, to, to them, with dignity and respect and to be able to support them in whatever way they need.

I’ll just touch on One other piece down at the bottom right there, where we talk about why people what is our focus and in ours, the focus is really learning everything you need to know about autism and autistic people. So a lot of autistic voice in our program, we do have video case studies of different autistic individuals.

And so you’ll see their stories through your entire program. And we’re really focused in on understanding [00:07:00] that the assessment and the characteristics, and then. What do you do? And what does that look like? Chris? Do you wanna do the driving forces for ABA here? Sure Wanna piggyback a little bit on what Jodi just said in that we’ve been really intentional as two different programs to really not create ABA as a you’re gonna learn about autism interventions.

Because our program really believes that ABA is a science that. What everybody does, not just autistic individuals, but even the interactions that we’re having right now can be explained through behavior analytic means. And if you’re really here to learn about intervening with individuals with autism and I agree.

Yeah. They, adult services population is definitely one of the huge, biggest places where we need people. Dr. Duke’s program really is more [00:08:00] equipped to prepare you for that. If you wanna learn about the science of behavior and why people do what they do and possibly apply it to individuals with autism, then our program is really more of the way to go.

We will prepare you for, like I said, that B a C B exam that big B AAC, B exam the pass rates on that exam. Our for first time test takers about 65%. So we take our job very, seriously when it comes to that. We do not provide field work at this point in time. But we’ll provide you with the coursework and the mentoring as much as possible to really get you to pass that exam.

That’s something that we take very, seriously and then also to do good. This is the second part. I do wanna give a little bit of a caveat to anybody here who might not be from the us. Our B a C B credential is [00:09:00] getting restricted and will only be available in north America and some select European countries.

And I believe Australia, but I’m not a hundred percent sure. So if you’re not from. North America, Canada. Please get in touch with us because you can’t guarantee that you can get that BACB credential. There are some changes that are going on in the field right now. But we’d still love to have you, and have you learn about behavior analysis as a science?

Wonderful. Thanks. So we also wanna talk to you a little bit about the courses that you would take in the master’s program at the top, we have core courses. And so we start you out with an introduction to special education. I actually am just have one of these classes that opened on Monday.

So I’m right in the midst of this one. This really takes you through. A very strong background of, disability and disability history. And. [00:10:00] The law behind different disability movement. So this will give you a, very nice overview of special education in general. Five 17 is all computer applications.

That’s a really cool class because it does high tech, low tech. Just about anything you can imagine. Universal design for learning obviously applies to both of our programs. That’s really about. The different considerations when designing programs to make sure that you are meeting the needs of as many learners as you can, then we have a research class and a capstone option in the autism program.

You can see that we have currently I think there’s a typo on here actually, because 6 36 is on here twice. So right now there are five courses, but we are building a sixth course that I’ll talk about as well. So you start actually with 6 34, which is the characteristics class where you learn all about the DSM five diagnostic criteria, the different [00:11:00] levels of autism.

And what are the different characteristics, social, behavioral communication. Then you go to six 20, which is behavior and sensory needs. That’s I teach that class as well. And that one is wonderful. It’s really about How do you determine what the individual’s trying to communicate through their behavior?

And then how do you develop a sound plan to support those needs and provide them a more appropriate way, many times to communicate or get what they need. We have an interventions class where we look at evidence based practices, 6 36, where we look at communication and literacy 6 37 is our collaboration course.

And then 6 38 is the new course that will be added this year. And that course will be focused on assessment as well as intersectionality, where we’re really digging into the different identities of autistic individuals as those intersect with gender race, sexual identity Cultural background and other pieces like that.

We’re [00:12:00] excited to add that to the program. Once you get through your core courses, you move into either autism or those ABA tracks. So Chris, can you describe your program courses as well? Sure, Yeah. As you can see Dr. Duke’s program does a really great job of really giving you a comprehensive.

Overview of autism and all the things that you really need to know to be an autism professional. The ABA courses again are gonna take a little bit of a different T where we’re going to teach you all the things you need to know based on the B a C B behavior analyst certification boards, fifth edition task list.

We’re currently on the fifth edition at this. So your earlier courses 6 19 6 21, 6 22 are all gonna be your basic foundations. Six 19 is gonna be your vocab. Learning about the science learning a little [00:13:00] bit about applications across different disciplines. Our empirical basis course is a lot of single case design, but also learning how to take data, analyze data, interpret data.

And then I’d like to call 6 22 are like our bio and chem. Course that is really the basic foundations. And I think later on, you’re gonna see you actually get to work with a virtual rat, which is cool. And then. 6 23, 24, 25 are where you’re gonna start going into your application pieces, where you really are going to be learning the applied piece.

So you’re gonna learn about how to do a functional analysis and assessment from a behavior analytics standpoint. I call our applications course our kitchen sink course, because you’re gonna learn all the different ways that the science is applied in all different places, whether that’s sport, feeding, gerontology, behavioral [00:14:00] pediatrics yada Verbal behavior is exactly how it sounds. That’s behavior approach, behavioral approach to language and communication. And then another course that we have, we do have a standalone course in ethics and professional conduct. So those seven courses are required by the behavioral analyst certification board.

And your core courses are gonna be identical to the ones in the autism program. So back to you, Jody. All right. Great. Thank you. Oh this is I’d see. And I have to learn about the cyber rat. Now I’m very intrigued. So I’ll talk about I think what you can see. I think those are both you. No, it’s OK.

My eyes are old. I think these are both Ava pictures, but I’ll talk really briefly is I’m not sure if there’s a slide on the autism interactive piece, but like I mentioned earlier, we do have. These case studies, where we had the privilege of, spending a lot of time with four different [00:15:00] autistic individuals and their families.

We went to school with them. We one was a George Mason student at the time. We talked to, their teachers, their ABA providers, their. Siblings their parents. And you will get to know these four folks really well through the program and all, almost all of the major assignments in our courses.

Are practical applications related to those four. So for instance, when we talk about behavior, you get three different case studies to choose from where we have video of different behavior issues. And then you actually work on either Jake, William or Allie’s case and come up with a plan. So we do have that applied component, but we do not have a cyber rat.

So tell us about that, Chris, if you. Yep. This is my favorite thing. And. To teach cyber rat. The best way to, to talk about it [00:16:00] is that it’s a video game. But it, unfortunately you don’t get to have a high score or anything like that, where you get to put a rat in an opera chamber and play around with it a little bit.

You get to do some shaping, you get to play around with different ways to deliver reinforcers and how that affects behavior. It’s a pretty intensive project at the end. You come out with a pretty comprehensive paper where you’re learning how to read some of the basic literature, which can be a little daunting sometimes.

And really understanding why. We do what we do based on our environment. So like I said, I think about that as like the bio and chem course in some ways. And then our second picture here is actually when you get to 6 23 for our assessment piece, we actually have a simulation.

You will watch [00:17:00] videos and you will create an assessment from start to finish with And you’ll be watching videos, taking data, coming up with conclusions about her behavior and writing a plan. Again, this is done within a group because a lot of times these plans are written with groups and families in mind.

So you’ll be working with other people to come together and develop plans. We like to get as much hands on stuff in as we can. I think both the both programs do. These are some of the more fun things that you get to do in ABA. Very cool. All right. One of the questions people often have is am I gonna work with actual faculty or who teaches the courses?

In the autism program, I teach several of the courses. Dr. Grace Francis is an amazing researcher and, professor. She is very well known in the field of transition and family professional partner. And [00:18:00] she has developed 6 37, the collaboration course, and is working with me on developing the assessment and intersectionality course.

And then you’ll work with Dr. Lynn Jorgenson. She teaches the characteristics course and is also the director of the Mason life program, which is our post-secondary program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And then you might have an adjunct faculty member here or there.

We actually really appreciate the contributions that they make. Right now, Dr. Cheryl brag is teaching a course for us, and she is a psychologist. Who’s worked with autistic students for many year decades. Really? She’s, got a wealth of experience. And so we will find we obviously prefer to teach as many of the courses as we can on our own. And then we bring in really high level, experienced faculty as well. So you’ll have a range and we actually think that’s important. So you get a variety of perspectives. [00:19:00] As you go through the program, in our case, we have oh, a few more adjunct professors in. In ABA. But what we try to do is make sure that all of the adjuncts are meeting with the full-time faculty as a team. And we do that at least once a month. You won’t, it, we don’t necessarily have adjunct professors who just come in, teach a course and nobody ever sees them.

We do try to keep in touch with our adjuncts as much as possible. These are our full-time faculty. We also have someone who is. Hard time, but she has more responsibilities than just teaching courses. Her name is Dr. Francis Paris and you’ll see her in many of the courses. And you’ll also see all four of us in your coursework.

So you won’t be coming to Mason and never seeing a full-time faculty member. That’s something that’s really important to us. Dr. Ted. Has [00:20:00] experience with individuals with intellectual disabilities and autistic individuals, but his area of really study and expertise is more clinical and mental health applications.

So he works a lot with individuals with Anxiety depression and a variety of mental health diagnoses. I’ve talked about my background. Dr. Christie park also has experience with autistic individuals. But her area of focus is really mentoring early career individuals, as well as school based types of supports, positive behavior interventions, Dr. Lisa TULO also we all have experience with autistic individuals, but her. Other area of expertise is organizational behavior management. And what that is that’s the application of behavioral principles to businesses and workplace safety and increasing profits and organizations and things like [00:21:00] that.

You’ll see that we all have a very wide range of areas of study and expertise. Great. Thank you. Now it’s not letting me click now. It won’t let you move forward. That’s exactly. There we go. Perfect. Awesome. So this is probably me. If you are ready for the next steps, if you have any further questions, you want more information on the admissions process.

Please feel free to reach out to me or my office. Our contact info is right there on the screen. The phone number, this is the direct line. It’ll get you to somebody who can help, or you can just shoot us an email and we can communicate that way as. We can communicate with phone, text, chat, email, whatever.

Y’all. And this one that’ll let me click over I was just gonna say I, put my email in the chat as well. If that’s helpful to anyone who has more questions about the autism program. Yes. And if you guys have any questions later and you realize you didn’t write their emails down or anything like that, shoot, ’em our way.

And we’ll definitely connect you Jody or Chris, we’ll make sure that we get those questions answered for you all. So this one’s pretty much gonna be my area or my domain. So the degree [00:22:00] requirements to apply this program are gonna be a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. The important part, right there is the regionally accreditation.

That’s just a rule that Mason has to apply to any program. So it’s gonna be a big one. If you’re coming from an international school, we love our international students. However, you do have to have your degree evaluated by a NAIS accredited company. So those, are gonna be like Wes ECE span Tran, and then they have to be evaluated to a four year standard.

If you’re familiar with those awesome. If not give us a call, we’d be happy to walk you through the process. As far as applying to any graduate program here at Mason, we typically encourage students to have at least a 3.0 GPA or higher in their most recent degree. But I do know that there may be a little bit of wiggle room Jody or Chris.

Do you have any insight on.

For for the most part, we look at you fairly holistically. So it if there’s anything that you wanna add to your personal statement that might give us some context or understanding about your situation if you do not have a 3.0, I think that would be very helpful to [00:23:00] add. We also are looking at trends on transcripts if, you’ve improved over time or, you’ve shown that you’re able to be successful over time, that’s helpful. As well. Yeah. So like Rosa, a 2.98 is we would be fine. Definitely if, again, if there’s anything that you want us to know about you, besides that, but we look at you as more than a number, I would say.

Yes. And that’s something I really admire about this program too, is that the applications are viewed as a whole. We have a lot of students, I think Yolanda in the chat said she was gonna be a career switch or a career change, which is awesome. But also a lot of times your degree was in an unrelated field and it may have been different.

So if you had a lower GPA, we definitely take that into consideration. we also have all students fill out what we call a GPA addendum. So if your GPA is below a 3.0, we have you explain that to the extent that you’re comfortable with. Or obviously we don’t want you to go into too much detail if you’re not comfortable with it.

But anything you can share is gonna be better for your application. Awesome. So what, okay, so the application [00:24:00] requirements are pretty standard. I would say for most masters, Chris, did you have something to say? I saw you come off. Oh, I was just gonna say that we do look at ours on a case by case basis too, and that we are looking would you, it really looking at the whole thing to see do you, would you be successful in our ABA program?

And yeah we don’t just look at numbers. We don’t just look at one or two things. We really look at the whole applic. Perfect. I love how you phrased that. I have a lot of students who will get admitted to a program and they’re like, I can’t do it. This isn’t worth it. And I’m like, you wouldn’t have been admitted if the program didn’t think you could be successful.

So that’s something to keep in mind is they’re not gonna admit to you just to have an extra student. So I love that. Perfect. So as far as the application requirements go again, they’re pretty standard. The online application in the application fee is gonna be $75. Unofficial transcripts.

Your decision can be made off of unofficial transcripts, but it’ll be pending the successful reception of your official trans. By our office. So yes, we can [00:25:00] make ’em on unofficial, but I always encourage my students to get their officials. And as soon as they can resumes are pretty standard. I always tell students, you’re applying to a graduate program, not a job.

So you may wanna tweak a couple verbs here and there, or your responsibilities, but a resume is standard as well. A personal statement, there is a prompt with a word count that my admissions office would be happy to provide to you. Just give us a call, send us an email. We’d be happy to connect with you.

And the two letters of recommendation are actually pretty simple. What we do is you can request those three online application, you put in your recommended contact information, and it will automatically generate a hyperlink for them to complete your recommendations. So they complete a quick survey. It usually doesn’t take any more than about 15 minutes.

And that’s how we do your recommendation. So usually people drag their heels on three form letters of recommendation, and we think that this is the best way to get it done for students. So Jodi, Chris, anything else before I go to the next slide and talk about. No, I think you did that very, well.

Thank you. Been doing it for a while. thank you. Awesome. All right. So that’s about everything we had to share with you all [00:26:00] today. Does anyone have any specific questions you can drop those in the chat or in the Q and a? I think I might have seen some a minute ago.

All righty. So I’ve got a couple questions from students who knew they wouldn’t be able to make it today. So I’m gonna go ahead and start with those. And honestly, either one of you can answer, I’m perfectly fine with that. So the first question is what can we expect in terms of a time commitment? If you had to ballpark our hours per week, what do you think those would be?

Of course, it’s gonna be a rough estimate. Yeah, these will probably be very different for each of our programs. So for autism We say typically expect about three hours of work outside of class for each credit hour. Because you’re doing everything online though. It all morphs together. So I, would say between nine and 12 hours is approximately what we get from our students when we survey them.

Certainly some weeks are slightly heavier than others, but we do give you a schedule at the beginning of every course. So you can plan ahead and what’s coming[00:27:00] And we, really do try to be aware of the fact that you are probably not doing this and nothing else and that you have other things going on.

But I, would say nine to 12 hours, I’d say that’s pretty comparable actually. I do, there are a lot more intensive things that we have to do in the ABA program because they’re required by the B a. So sometimes it might feel like the, course load feels really heavy, but if we didn’t do that, then you know, we have, we wouldn’t be preparing you for that exam.

I usually tell my students to really Pay close attention to those assignment, checklists that you get every week which I know Dr. Duke does as well, and to distribute your work across the week. So if you’re saying, okay I can do this and then I’ll just dedicate my weekends to the ABA program.

I would say that probably isn’t gonna work so well. You really [00:28:00] do have to distribute your work across the week. That being said that it’s really easy to break stuff down into manageable chunks. With the exception of maybe some of your team meetings and things like that. Expect to distribute the work across the week.

But do about nine to 12 hours of work. Just as Dr. Duke had. Awesome. So I had another question come through the chat. I’m not sure if ever one of you would have insight into this. But what are the options for financial assistance that students can have for a master’s degree? I actually don’t know a lot about this because there is a separate office at Mason.

I think that handles a lot of this Christi, Dr. Bartel, do you have any insight? I. Don’t right now we don’t have any assistanceships or anything to that effect in the ABA program. But as far as financial aid and scholarships, I really have no idea. I think that [00:29:00] probably is a good question for our advisors, because they have a good handle on areas of financial aid.

Yeah. So I have I would say a limited knowledge on financial aid to be quite honest. I do know that Mason offers the regular payer tuition up front. They also offer monthly payment plans where you can break that down over time. We do accept FAFSA. Most students will qualify for something.

I know that the mindset is I’m not gonna qualify for anything, but most students will qualify for something. Faso will not give you grants as a graduate student though. So that’s something you keep in mind is you’re only gonna be qualified for student loans. And I always tell my Mason does have in-house scholarships, but you have to apply to them separately.

It’s not like you’re gonna be automatically considered like you do an undergrad. So it is a little bit more work on your end. But the payout is usually quite worth it also a little tip. I give a lot of my students. To look online for more niche scholarships. I gave the example one time I had a friend who was a type one diabetic and she won a scholarship because she wrote an essay about it.

So it was a really niche thing for her. It was less [00:30:00] competition for that scholarship. But yeah, scholarships are definitely gonna be more work on your end, but usually the payoff is definitely worth it. And I’m gonna go ahead and drop the financial aid phone number in this chat real. And they can give you honestly, even more information than I can.

So let’s go ahead. Perfect. And then while I’m doing that, our next question we have a lot of students that are concerned. This is a fully online program. They need the flexibility of that. What happens if something comes up like a life event they get sick, the death of a family member, et cetera.

Can you guys elaborate on how you handle that within the program? I’m happy to take that one. And do you mind if I answer a quick question in the Q and a, I just wanna make sure for our international students that. They know that anybody who wants to go for that B a C B credential that the, that credential’s only going to be offered for residents of north America, which is United States, Canada some select European countries and I believe Australia.

So if you are [00:31:00] not from one of those areas you may not be able to take that exam. So I just wanted to make sure I wanna make sure there’s full disclosure with that one. And then I’ll answer the second question about. Yeah, you’re fine. Chris, before you jump into that second question, let me ask, cause I, I don’t know the answer to this.

I know that we have been told that they can’t sit for the BCBA exam outside of the country, which is what you’re touching on. If they’re just curious about the course content, is it okay for them to enroll? Do you know if we have any? Okay, perfect. I was just curious. Of course. Yeah. Yeah.

There’s no you’re not required to sit for the B a C B exam to get your degree or anything like that. But I also wanna make sure that when people. Of course come in, they come in with full disclosure because you can see ’em get to the end and then I’ll, you can’t take the exam.

Exactly. And that being said, also our board changes their mind about things rather quickly. So I would really suggest if you haven’t already, and you wanna do ABA to go to the B a C B portal and register yourself. You can [00:32:00] register yourself as a student, you’ll get a newsletter and that newsletter will keep you informed of any changes that might come.

Because anytime there’s a change, they send out a newsletter. To stay informed, I would suggest really keeping an eye on those newsletters. And then I’ll sorry, I’m hijacking this, Jodie. You’re fine. So as far as like it, my personal thought is John Lennon said life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans and people.

Have things happen that’s part of life. And I think the nice thing about Mason is that we have really good supports if you have a mental health issue that you need help with, we can there’s people there who can be there for you. If you’re struggling financially, there’s people there who can be there for you.

If you’re having academic issues and you need tutoring, there’s people that can be there for you. Our advising is just top notch. But as [00:33:00] far as coursework is concerned, I think the most important thing you can, there are a couple things you can do. The first is keeping in touch with your professor because we can help you.

If we know we can’t help you, if we don’t know and coming to us at the last minute, it’s a little bit harder for us to help. So don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors. They’re not there to nail you to the wall or to fail you. They’re there to help you succeed.

And I think the other thing too, is that we do have incredible disability supports as well. And take advantage of the things that we offer because we, like I said, we’re there for you to succeed. And these offices are amazing and keeping in touch with us and taking advantage of what we have to offer.

Even if something comes up, that’s a life event we can. And we will. Yes. Perfect. I always tell my students just keep, y’all [00:34:00] keep the professors updated, because like you said, if you don’t know you can’t help and if you wait till the very end, it’s a lot harder to give the assistance that’s needed.

So that’s awesome. And also speaking of student disability services, if that is something you need. Feel free to let your admissions representative know you don’t have to let us know why. Just say, Hey, I need their contact information. Do you mind sharing that with me? We don’t want you to feel uncomfortable in any way, shape or form, but we’d be happy to get y’all connected that way you can get the resources that you need and that you deserve.

So the next question I’ve got for you guys what is your best advice to be successful in this program?

I, would always suggest that you engage as much as you can with your peers and your professors. and Chris already mentioned this, but that every week I tell my students on Tuesday, make it a priority to look at your module checklist, make sure what you need to do and map out your activity across the week.

Plan ahead is probably the biggest thing, because I think some students just it adds a lot of stress. If you’re trying [00:35:00] to cram a whole module into a day or two And, be as as open as you can be about asking for help, but also asking for advice, or can we meet and talk about this part of class?

That’s really what we’re here for. And our engagement with students is for most of us, our, the favorite part of our job. Just know that we’re here and, take advantage of. Yes. I love it when students schedule office hours, because I actually get to talk to people and I’m not just reading papers.

It’s fantastic. And one of the things that I would suggest, at least if you’re thinking about ABA is also make sure you get a good computer. That’s really important. Yeah, it’s, our courses are not designed to be able to be done on a tablet or a Chromebook. And I’d rather tell people now you need a good computer, whether you’re borrowing it or you own it either way.

I think that’s [00:36:00] probably the most important piece of advice for success. Other than that just being. And just doing your best. I think that’s, all we can ask for. So yeah that’s, my answer. Perfect. Perfect. Speaking of having a good computer, I know that a lot of ’em go on sale right before fall semester.

So that’s what you guys are looking at applying to. That’s a really great time to get one. That’s what I always get mine. But that being said, I know you both just touched on it briefly and in an effort to start wrapping this up. What is your favorite part about teaching in the program?

For me, it’s been the students that I’ve met and the stories that they’ve shared and thinking about hopefully the ripple effect that our program has in the autistic community. And we have one student who just graduated. He’s a ups worker and he has three children. Who are autistic teen through young adult age.

And he was [00:37:00] able to use his employees benefit for, education, for continuing education and take the classes on a little bit different schedule, but he was able to do his degree through that. And And it was just, it was great to see him take it in personally and professionally and look towards his next steps.

We have, we do have a lot of international students and that has also been very rewarding. Autism is different all around the world. And we’re very lucky with the services and the options that autistic individuals have here, but learning about what’s happening and also preparing professionals to help autistic people all over the world has been pretty, amazing too.

I guess mine is the light bulb moments where you know, that you’re teaching something and somebody goes, oh, I get it now. I see what you’re saying or or, oh, now it makes complete sense [00:38:00] because I know that then they’re gonna go out and do amazing things with that information. And really Use it to help a lot of people which is awesome.

But yeah, my favorite is probably when I get to meet people and they come to office hours and they share their stories and I can work with them. That, that is really, that’s a lot of fun, a lot of. Awesome. I really appreciate you both sharing with us and taking time out of your day to help me host this session.

It doesn’t look like we have any more questions left and since this is a lunch meeting, I’ll go ahead and let everyone go early. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, please feel free to reach out to my office, our contact info’s right here. If you need Jody or Chris, we’d be happy to connect you to them as well.

Okay. All right. I hope everyone has a great day and thank you for spending time with me guys. Have a good. Thanks everyone. Thank you everybody. Thanks Stephanie. Thank you Of course. Bye guys.

TESOL (MEd Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction) Transcript

[00:00:00] Okay, we are going to go ahead and jump right in. So in a moment, I’m gonna hand over to our two presenters this evening, who will be leading the open house. Both of whom are active faculty members of our TSOL program, Dr. Ramos and Dr. Shin over to you. Hi, thank you so much. And hello everyone. Thank you for coming to this session, to learn more about our master of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in TSOL.

So my name is Dr. Joan Kang Chen, Joan shin, and I’m a professor of education as well as a director of the global online teacher education center. Also known. Go tech. And my area of specialty is teaching English to young learners and teenagers. And in addition to that, I do a lot of research in online [00:01:00] teacher education and professional developments in my passion is really learning about the most effective ways to.

Online teacher education and specifically for learning about how to teach English to speakers of other languages. And so now I will pass it over to my colleague, Dr. Ramos. Okay, thank you. Hello everybody. And welcome. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us tonight. So I’m Dr. Kathy Ramos and I came to George Mason university in 2016.

I’m an associate professor in the college of education and human development and also the academic program coordinator. For teaching culturally linguistically diverse and exceptional learners of which this particular program is a part of that like Dr. Shin, I have also lots of research interest. [00:02:00] But my heart has been in really just teaching myself as a former ESOL and world language teacher for 20 years.

And then as a teacher educator for the last 10 years, just dedicated to preparing teachers in the United States and around the world for teaching multilingual learners with equity and excellence. And that really is what this program is all about. Fantastic. And I forgot to introduce myself earlier, but my name is Pam and I had admissions representative here at George Mason for the TSOL program.

Thank you, Dr. Ramos and Dr. Shin for introducing yourselves there. I’m gonna go ahead and move on to our next slide. So we’re gonna go drive straight in to some of the driving forces behind the Taw program. Yes, thanks so much. So I’m really happy to be able to introduce a little bit about the background for this program.

First of all, you’ll notice [00:03:00] that it’s a degree, a master in education in curriculum and instruction. And so we have a number of programs with within. Master’s degree. And so we have different concentrations. So in this case, the concentration is in TSOL or teaching English two speakers of other languages, but it’s one of many concentrations that we have in our particular program, which Kathy mentioned, because she’s working as the academic program coordinator.

So it’s called teaching culturally and linguistically diverse and exceptional. Learners. And so we have ESOL licensure programs, also preparing teachers for teaching different world languages like Spanish and Chinese and French and German, et cetera. And the focus of the programs that we have designed and that we offer.

[00:04:00] Underneath this umbrella of curriculum instruction really focus on those aspects of cultural and linguistic diversity. So this particular concentration in TSAL was created because we realized. That there was a real need for offering a program to prepare TSOL professionals in all different contexts, not just in the us, but around the world.

And so unlike our other program, which provides licensure. For teachers in the state of Virginia, this program is global. And so we wanna prepare T self professionals for teaching children and teenagers and adults. And in context that you can find anywhere within the us. And in other countries, one of the reasons why we’ve identified a need for this particular program is that English is a global language.

[00:05:00] So around the world, and I’m sure most of you who are here already know this. But it’s such an important language for communication and science and technology diplomacy in the areas of tourism and business economics. So. Really it is considered a gatekeeper for many opportunities. And so we know from just our own experiences, as well as our research, what an important language it is around the world.

So we want to be a part of helping to prepare TSOL professionals, to be able to meet the needs of people who want to learn English in various contexts around the world. And so finally, what do Mason students enjoy most about this program? One of the things is that it is an accelerated program that it is online is [00:06:00] extremely flexible.

So one of the things that we’ll talk about is that. You know, this particular program is asynchronous. So wherever you are in the world, you can be logging in and doing your work at a time. That’s convenient for you. So it’s really flexible in this way. And I think that’s one of the reasons why, one of the many reasons why students have really enjoyed taking this program.

So this is a little introduction and I’ll pass it over to my colleague. Dr. Ram wants to tell you a little bit more. Okay, thank you. So I’m going to just get you acquainted with the program and the coursework that makes up the program share a little bit more detail, but we wanna make sure that we leave plenty of time this evening for you to be able to ask us questions.

Okay. So it is a full master’s degree as Dr. Shin said. So there are 30 credits, there are 10 courses that you would take [00:07:00] in this program. And it’s important for you to know that we took. A good deal of time to design the program ourselves and two other faculty members that will tell you about in a bit, but the program is aligned to TSOL Cape standards for preparing K to 12 teachers.

As well as for those who are working with adult learners, multilingual learners. So it is aligned to both the K to 12, the current K to 12 and adult framework for preparing tsel professionals to work in multilingual contexts. All kinds of multilingual contexts across the world and in the United States.

So I will just share that in our current cohorts of students, that we have groups of students, we have many who are pre-K to 12 practicing teachers who really enjoy that accelerated pace that Dr. Shin was talking about their eight week [00:08:00] courses. They run throughout the whole year with a little bit of break.

In the winter holiday and right before the fall semester, but generally they are just going continuous continuously, but you’re only taking one course at a time that is a synchronous at the same time, we’ve made sure that it’s also a rigorous, very valuable program. That is asset based. So what we mean by that, and many of you may be familiar with that term is that we.

Have designed the coursework to really embed the idea of leveraging and valuing multilingual learners, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. There are funds of knowledge as capitals that they bring into the classroom and as bridges for creating instruction in an assessment and for as using, as learning tools.

So we’ve designed the program around cutting edge [00:09:00] technology and research. Best practices as well as the theoretical understandings. So it’s a degree that you can take into many pathways, but that will position you as a TSOL professional with a high degree of expertise and preparation for while working with multilingual learners.

As I was saying, we have students who are in the community college setting, some who are in the PK, 12 setting, some who are working with refugee adult learners, and a few students who are entering the te a world for the first time who are really just excited about this opportunity and career. All of the courses do require some field work and you have flexibility there as well in encountering a field work setting that works for you.

You may already be working in a tsel setting. Many of our students are, but we have many who are not. So you can seek volunteer [00:10:00] tutoring experiences or connections to after school programs or to adult education spaces where you can connect with multilingual learners to do your field work. As the performance based assessments.

So this is really about our ideas for you to practice, to apply what you’re learning about theory and strategies and practices with real multilingual learners in real settings. Okay. So that is why we call the major assignments in each of the courses. Performance based assessments. All right. Because they allow you to have some practice opportunity.

Let’s see, what else should I tell you about the program? Although it is accelerated and flexible as Dr. Shin said, you can. Engage in your work. You may be an early morning worker. You may be a late evening worker. You may have more time on the weekends, but you will be reading and watching videos and [00:11:00] accessing other online content as well as interacting with your peers every week online.

Okay. So in each course, each module is completed on a weekly basis. So it has flexibility, but not so much. You can catch up after three weeks, you do have to stay on track with completing a module each week, and you can be sure that your faculty, whether they are faculty members in our program, or our adjunct instructors who have been with us for quite some time will be engaged with you and your peers.

Very actively in that asynchronous environ. Okay, so now Dr. Shin is going to just share a couple of examples of the kinds of activities, along with the reading and interaction with your peers that you might expect in some of the courses. Thanks. Yeah. So we have a lot of different types of activities, of course, videos that you can watch, but they aren’t like [00:12:00] the kind of boring lecture style videos where it’s almost like someone set up a camera, in a lecture hall, and then you have to listen to someone standing up and delivering something. We have the videos that are also trying to still engage you as the learner. And they’re shorter in order to be able to keep your attention, especially on the main points within any module.

We also have different types of Interac. Learning activities and tasks. So you can see here, there’s a two different examples. So one is these interactive sliders where there are scenarios presented and many of them are real. Life scenarios that come from teachers real experiences or real classroom experiences, so that you can try to apply what you’re learning in a particular module to something that either [00:13:00] actually happened in a classroom or something that could happen when you are first starting out to teach in a classroom.

And these scenarios. Are sometimes linked to the discussion board so that you can discuss what you think about the scenarios. Some of them are open ended so that you can think how they might apply to who you are or who the characters in this scenario are. And like I said, these are all really to make sure that there is a practical application that you can really get the idea of what this might look like in a classroom situation.

There are other activities as well on the right side, you can see that there is a choice activity. So this is, this comes from one of my courses about language and literacy. I believe it’s ed C I 5 82. And the idea is to model a type of activity that [00:14:00] you would do with your students, right? So it’s to encourage you to use a choice board, to provide different choices for your students in order to show their comprehension of a topic or that they can use the language in different ways.

But as you can see here, even though it’s just a clip of. I’m really asking about how you can motivate and engage your culturally and linguistically diverse students in reading, but I’m allowing you different options. So you could create a cartoon to show your understanding of it, or create an infographic using Canva or pick a chart, things that also would be encouraging you to use in your own classroom materials, maybe create a short song or a poem or a rap. All right. Other options there. Ones where you can choose different multi modalities in order to be able to show that you have connected [00:15:00] to that course content and show deep understanding of it.

So in these ways, we try to keep you engaged in the online environment. So if you’re worried that if it’s asynchronous, that it might be boring and it’s just a lot of reading, no, there’s a lot of activities that you can engage in that I think. Might even be fun as well as practical to help how to then use activities in the classroom.

Okay. So those are my examples and I hope you found them useful. Super. So I think I’m sharing next. And these are the other two faculty members who joined us, Dr. April Maddox foster, and Dr. SUGEN Kim in designing this program. And as Dr. She was sharing, we really had a vision for this program to reach TSL educators all around the world.

So many different contexts and we stretched ourselves to create this program by working with an [00:16:00] instructional design and technology specialist or specialist and creating those kinds of activities that Dr. Shin was describing to you to make the program innovative and engaging for our learners. I wanted to mention that we currently have students who are located in Hong Kong, in Ecuador, in Seattle, in New York city, really in a number of states and places around the world and our expertise transcends all of those boundaries as well. So April Maddox foster is an expert in inter international. Elementary education in literacy instruction with young learners, she has worked in international schools and has worked with teachers in international schools for many years now.

And Dr. SUGEN, Kim is an expert on multiliteracy pedagogy on trans [00:17:00] languaging, translingual, transnational pedagogies, and she and Dr. Shin. And I recently received a. A grant from the us department of education, office of English language acquisition, and we are working on a, a large national professional development project.

So we say that to say that we are, we are dedicated faculty members. Who also have all won. We’re very proud of this. I’m just gonna throw it in there. We have all won awards. Mason university wide awards for teaching excellence, whether online or in face to face context. And so we, we are inspired by preparing educators of all types too, with equity and excellence and advocacy for multilingual learners, wherever they are, and with whomever they are working with. And that really, that is why we, the [00:18:00] four of us over the last few years designed this program that has launched well. And I think we are in. Our second year now yeah, of this program.

So we hope that you are interested in joining us. We did have a student. If we can go to the next slide, please. Pam, who was supposed to join us tonight. And I’m not sure what happened, but maybe a time mix up because she is in Seattle, but her name is BNE. She’s going to be graduating this month of August with her master’s degree in this very program, and I really have had the pleasure of getting to know her through a couple of courses and Renee and I have submitted proposals to present together at Southeast TSOL. That’s coming in up in October and also in TSOL. That’s coming up in 2023 in March in Portland, Oregon. [00:19:00] She’s quite an amazing educator who worked at the community college level and still does, but she’s also in a very neat program that is supporting newly arrived adolescent English learners, who are having difficulty in graduating from high school in innovative pilot program, where they’re supported to complete their high school coursework and gain some community college coursework at the same time. So she has been very excited about always writing about how she is applying what she is, learning to the learners with whom she is working right now. And so I think that’s, it is time for question and answer. I don’t know Dr. Shin. I prefer that people just unmute if, but if you want to type in the chat, you can, but you can also, this we’re a small group, so you could also unmute if you have [00:20:00] questions.

So I don’t think the participants have the option to unmute. Oh, okay. Sorry. That’s totally fine. No, we can definitely share questions in the chat, but we are gonna go ahead guys and pivot to that part of the virtual open house now. And we are gonna go ahead and have that question, answer portion of the evening.

Let’s take a quick look if we have any questions so far. Okay. So the first one here. Just pull it up. Sorry. It just disappeared on me again. Yeah, I see them Pam. See it. Perfect. There’s one from Cynthia. Who’s working in an international school in Guatemala as an elementary teacher. Does that count as field work?

Sure does. that’s your working in the field each and every single day, Cynthia. So you would be able to use your. Your current work is your field setting in every course, Eric says it’s a little bit nebulous. That idea. Currently a substitute teacher in Miami with a flexible schedule. [00:21:00] Yeah. So we have a number of students like you, um, Eric, and your work in Miami Dade county schools.

Multilingual learners classrooms that have multilingual learners and English, only students, and all kinds of diverse students would certainly be very doable for your field work. Uh, Dr. Shin, do you wanna answer Alyssa’s question? Uh, What kind of jobs do graduates move into after the program? Wow. I think many different types of jobs.

There are a lot of different types of English language, teaching jobs, I think both here and abroad. So some graduates have. The goal of working in say a community college and teaching English as a second language in, in those programs. Um, we have teachers who are working [00:22:00] in international schools or getting jobs teaching in like a special English language type of after school program in some countries. So that also can be a really great job. Yeah. I, it all depends also on the age of learners you’re interested in and the types of programs that are available for teaching English in various countries. So if you have an interest in teaching in a particular context, it’s always great to try to be able to link the field work in that type of classroom. So for example, I had a student who did wanna work in a community college. She reached out to a local community college that was near where she lived in order to see, could I have permission to conduct the field work for one of my courses in a class. [00:23:00] And, and in that way could link up with that particular context.

Yeah. I think our graduates are teaching in all different types. Programs. I don’t know if I completely answered your question. So if you have any follow up questions from what I just said, please feel free to put that in the chat box. Okay. I think I can take the next two questions. One is from and she says, how long would it take to complete the program?

So if you stay on track in taking all of the courses, as you are, as the program is laid out or designed, you would take two in the fall two in the spring. Two in the summer two in the fall, two in the spring. And that would be 10. And you would graduate at that time. If you start in the spring, then it’s the same thing.

There’s two each semester, including summer. And because they are eight weeks and we start a little bit before the typical university calendar in January, the summer [00:24:00] classes are really. Late April or mid April until June and then June to August is the second summer class. Okay. But they run straight through the year, as I mentioned previously.

Okay. There was a question about the difference between licensure there’s a few differences. Okay. So the, the biggest difference would be. That for licensure, you would need to be placed by our teacher track placement office in an accredited school. So that doesn’t have to be in Virginia because there are accredited schools around the world.

And we have field placement specialists that work to find those placements for licensure candidates. Okay. They are placed by the university placement office and of course, licensure also. Comes with an internship. Okay. A six credit internship in which you are doing your practicum [00:25:00] or in old fashioned terms, your student teaching under the supervision of a university supervisor, that’s a six credit endeavor and that comes near the end.

And then you have your final two. Capstone courses if you’re pursuing a full masters, in addition to licensure that come after that practicum experience. Okay. Prerequisites for the program. No, I think that’s a good place to draw your attention to the slide that we forgot about, which just shows the requirements.

Okay. Cause you have to have an earned bachelor’s degree to enter a master’s program. Minimum GPA overall GPA of 3.0, and then you have the application requirements, your online application, your transcripts resume, a personal goal statement and two professional letters of recommendation. Okay. So those aren’t [00:26:00] really prerequisites, but requirements, other questions.

Okay, Dr. Shin, do you see that one there from Elisa as well? Oh yes. Okay. I’ve taught English, not as second language for 10 years in the public school. Great. I’m interested in several career paths moving forward, including possibly teaching English abroad. How is this degree perceived as a potential internationally. Yes. Having a master’s degree with a concentration in TSOL is definitely a great credential for being able to get a job abroad, teaching English, to speakers of other languages. And, and actually, if you’re looking for jobs, abroad sometimes is referred to as English as a second language ESL, sometimes E a L English as an additional language, sometimes English as a foreign language EFL.

So if you’re looking for jobs abroad, you may look out [00:27:00] for those different acronyms because it could be TSOL or EFL ESL, E a L. But for all of those, having a master’s degree in TSOL is going to be. The best way to obtain a job in those various contexts. And I would say all of those contexts across the board, I think the only one exception where they might be looking for licensure might be at an international.

School when EAL programs, sometimes those international schools, let’s say if they have an American curriculum, they might be looking for that licensure. But I would say overall, most of the context you would do very well with this degree. Okay. We have another question from Cynthia about the licensure. So I wanna make sure to answer this clearly, [00:28:00] Cynthia, with this degree, you’re not licensed to teach.

And so you couldn’t, for example, get a first time job as an ESL teacher in a public school in Virginia. Because you wouldn’t have that license. Okay. That being said, we do have many practicing teachers in this program, in our graduating group. Right now we have one in Arlington, public schools and one in New York city.

He’s a secondary social studies teacher. And what they are doing is taking this coursework to prepare, to take the ESOL Praxis, which is an avenue to adding on an ESOL. Endorsement to an existing teaching license in most states, you’re able to do that. Okay. If you wanted to start from the beginning, you’re not already a licensed teacher, then I would recommend.

Looking into our teacher licensure program, which is also asynchronous [00:29:00] online can be done fully online. The classes are 15 weeks and usually people take two at a time instead of one at a time. And it has the internship included with it. We have to follow all of the testing requirements and other preparations endorsements that the Virginia department of education sets out for us.

So it’s more highly regulated in that way, but if you want it to be a licensed ISEL teacher and you’re not yet a practicing licensed teacher, then I would consider our licensure program. Okay. Let’s see, there’s a question from Brittany who is shifting career fields from teaching in South Korea for a year, and you were required to get a T certificate.

Could it be applied? It could be applied, not perhaps all of it, Brittany, but we have. You will be able to work with somebody who can [00:30:00] work with us to determine if there can be any credit given for the coursework, depending on the alignment and the duration of the program that you were in. Okay. So I would not say that’s impossible, but that’s something that we investigate on a case to case.

Basis the transcript of whatever that program is, would have to be reviewed. The best case scenario would be that the TSOL certificate actually required graduate level courses. Um, but. We would have to just review the transcript to see if there’s any possibility of that. Like Dr. Ramo said, we would have to do that on a case to case basis.

And, and, but that could happen right. There could be some credit offered and we have had that case in the past. So. Definitely possible after a transcript review. Okay. So Eric is letting us know that he already has been [00:31:00] accepted to the program and he thought this was like a welcome orientation, which it can be so welcome, Eric.

I would just, you don’t have to answer in the chat, but make sure that when you received your. Your acceptance letter, there would’ve been a link there for you to declare an intent to enroll. So it’s very important that you have completed that step. And after that, it passes to other people who are not Dr. Shin or me. Okay. But you will, don’t worry if you have declared your intent to enroll through the link that came in your. Acceptance letter, then you will be getting emails and communication. I would say our, our semester begins in August 22nd. So I would expect that in July or very early August, you would be receiving those kinds of communication about in about registration [00:32:00] options and this particular program.

You have an option of having. Somebody register you or electing to register yourself. You will have an advisor, a success coach who will lay out the program se sequence for you. Uh, as I said, in, in the fall, it will be ed C I five 80 and followed by ed C I 5 81. Those are the first two courses. And so you’ll learn all of that, how to set up your Mason email and all of those kinds of things.

Okay. And you can request to meet with your success coach any time Dr. Shin, do you wanna answer the, are there research opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members? Yeah. So those are not embedded in our program in any way. I would say that if. You have some interest, some particular interest in conducting research express that to a faculty [00:33:00] member who has similar interests or that your interests are aligned with the research that faculty member is doing.

Dr. Ramos, you were working with Renee, and I think you described a project. There are definitely faculty who are interested particularly. If you were in a setting and as you are taking the coursework, you start to see that you would either like to conduct some action research or you have some ideas. Oh, maybe Dr. Ramos, you can describe a little bit about the last capstone course, which is also where students might learn about research and start to gain an interest in it. Mm-hmm yes. So it’s. Cultural and linguistic inquiry based course in which you really envision your future work. It can be your current work. If you’re already in a TSOL setting and really pursue an inquiry or line of puzzlement [00:34:00] based on the learning from the program that really has resonated deeply with you.

That’s a, that’s something that you want to research and pursue. As Dr. Shin said, we are always hopeful that for students, this will mean getting involved with local and national and international TSOL. There are so many opportunities now for engaging with others, writing on blogs, writing in newsletters, presenting at local and national or international conferences, if you have the means to do that.

And always, I think the possibility is always there. So it’s not. An embedded part of our program to be connected in this master’s degree, that more so happens at the doctoral degree level to be connected with somebody around research. But we are, as Dr. Shin said very much interested in online education with multilingual learners and never has, and so I never [00:35:00] hesitate to throw an idea out. Okay. I see there is a question about alternative PhD programs after completing this program. So I’m just gonna put the link to our PhD in education program. And if you’re interested in taking a look, there are many different specializations. And so we work primarily in the multicultural, multilingual education specialization and the international education specialization.

So those would be ones. Faculty in our program are active in and teach courses in and conduct research in. Yeah, I would say if you’re looking for graduate research assistantship, those are really the one only available for PhD students. And I think you might have mentioned that, but, uh, we are always really happy to invite research opportunities for both masters and PhD students.

So if you’ve [00:36:00] got a good idea, Let us know. I, I think it’s a good place to say also that George Mason university, some of you may not know is a research one Institute. So that’s a designation that is earned through a lot of hard work and must be maintained reevaluated by an accreditation system that decides which universities can be research one universities.

So I say that to say, when you. Leave Mason, with this particular master’s degree, if you see doctorate work in your future, whether at Mason or elsewhere, you are very well prepared. You have a prestigious master’s degree from a research one university, which is, looks good, right on a PhD application or doctoral degree application program, any other questions? I think that’s all the questions in the chat, but I did have a couple of questions that I wanted to ask if that’s okay. Dr. [00:37:00] Remote and Dr. Shin from some students I’m currently working with. So the first question was for student is coming from a non-educational background.

Do you feel that they can still be a good fit for the program? Do they have that option to apply? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. They don’t have to have an education background and it would be really important though, in the personal statement to describe why you want to be in the field of education or what has inspired you to want to become a teacher of in Ts.

So, yeah, not required at all. Mm-hmm fantastic. Do you have many students who really want to work abroad or in, in particular, in adult education or in heritage language schools? There’s so many different TSOL context that are appealing to people who have lots of career switchers. We had one, a fellow who was a police officer, [00:38:00] and when he retires, he would like to be.

An adult ESOL educate. Fantastic. That’s awesome to hear. And then I had a question from one of my students as well about the capstone, the capstone course. Could you provide a little bit more detail about expectations for that course and what the students can expect from that as well, please? Okay. Sure.

So that course, I would say that the major project, the Cali cultural and linguistic inquiry project. Similar to a master’s thesis. So it will involve identifying and describing in academic writing, really doing research and describing a particular TSOL context, identifying that line of puzzlement or that inquiry that really resonates with you.

And then doing a good deal of research during the course. Okay. So I would say that it’s a course that doesn’t have quite as many smaller assignments [00:39:00] as other courses have. Because you are taking the steps each of the eight weeks in a dedicated way to read annotate, synthesize the research that is connected to your line of inquiry or puzzlement that you identified.

Okay. So you will write a complete literature review. So you’ll carefully select and read, and then. Weave together, the research that you have done to present a portrait of what is going on with that line of, of puzzlement in your particular TSOL world, and then link that to practice. Also connected to research that you have located using the Mason library system.

So we have wonderful Mason libraries access to a fantastic education, databases and support for learning how to [00:40:00] locate those kinds of articles. That would be useful in a literature review, peer reviewed articles. And then. Writing recommendations for how and why the research that you did matters to the work that you are doing or are going to do as a TSOL professional.

Okay. So how does your research come to life in real world practice? And you would be sharing that along the way, getting feedback from your peers and from your instructor. Basically writing what would be of the. Of a master’s thesis paper, if that helps. Absolutely. Thank you, Dr. Ramo and Dr. Shin, just thinking about one of the questions that you were one of the content pieces you were talking about earlier in terms of the approach to teaching and learning and the interactive nature of everything.

Does that also cross over to how the faculty [00:41:00] communicate with students? Do they have that kind of connection and that opportunity to network with their faculty? That was another question. One of my students had as well. Yeah, most definitely. And I think in every single one of our courses, we use the discussion board very actively and all of the instructors are also equally interactive in those discussions.

I think we really try to make. Those discussions, student centered, and to really give students the ability to express themselves. But we are also very present in all of the discussions. I think also all of us have a policy to return emails to students. When they have any questions within 24 hours, we might take a break like on Sunday or something like that.

But, but we. Do our very best to be very responsive. And I know sometimes online learning can seem [00:42:00] like you’re really alone and isolated, but I would say all of our students would probably tell you that they don’t feel isolated all and that they really get to know their classmates well, and they get to know us really well, sort of personally and professionally and through the content of the coursework.

What’s really interesting about kind of this creation of a community within a course. What’s really important to also share your thoughts, your ideas, aspects of your identity. To really go deep with some of the concepts that we present within the entire program. But. Course by course. Yeah. I think that’s probably one of the highlights of the program is that you really feel like you’re part of a community and that all of your instructors are really there for you throughout the learning process.

Yeah. I have to say that’s been a common theme in terms of feedback that I’ve gotten from students who are undergraduate [00:43:00] from Mason. The faculty are very engaged with their students. And even though you’re online, you’re still getting that feeling of being part of something. So that’s awesome. I think we’ve got another question here in the chat.

So just a thank you there to Dr. Ramos for answering. I think it was a specific question there from Eric and he’s leaving the webinar. Now this wants to give a shout out to a couple of people there. Fantastic. It’s great to know. Yeah. Yeah. There was still a little bit of. Guys for any additional questions that you have.

So if you wanna have a little think I’ve got one more question that I’d like to ask. And while I ask that, please do feel free to share a few more in the chat. So my final question was really just about the timeline. Is there an option to have an accelerated program with students were taking maybe one more than one class at a time.

So they are taking more than one class per semester. They’re taking two and with the courses [00:44:00] already happening in eight weeks, we haven’t had students. Who’ve had a desire yet to take three classes at a time. So you would be doubling up. You would be taking two eight week very intensive classes at the same time.

We don’t recommend that only. You also have to live your life and keep a good self-care balance and be able to dedicate yourself to the assignments. It’s not. I always, when I hear that kind of question, I think about the advice that my own. Advisor from the university of Pittsburgh gave me, and she said, Kathy, you never get to repeat this master’s degree again.

And so don’t rush your learning learn deeply rather than quickly. So I don’t think it would be appealing to take two eight week classes at the same time. It’s not an impossibility, but [00:45:00] we would not recommend it. Absolutely definitely quality of a quantity there, having that chance to really soak everything in.

Awesome. Awesome. All right. We’ve got one student here saying thank you so much for this great information. Now I’m really interested in the possibilities this program offers. So that’s awesome that we have so many people interested in the program. I’m gonna go ahead and share our final slide here. Just so you have those contact details. If you do wanna go ahead and let a little bit more, maybe speak to an admissions representative here at Mason. You’ll see there, the email address and the phone number there that you can call, and there’ll be definitely someone there to support you with getting that application put together our next start date, just for everyone’s information. There is August the 22nd and last spring start date is the 17th of January. So we’ve still got a lot of time there to get together. A super strong application and I’m just double checking to make sure we don’t have any other lingering questions there. Yep. Pam. So I would just add it there that we would encourage people to really try to complete their [00:46:00] application by the end of July.

Okay. Because it is a bit of a turnaround to get the admission letter and. Intend to enroll and be set up with a Mason email and get your program advisor and get registered for the classes. So there’s a little bit of wiggle room there, but you definitely want to aim for end of July 1st week of August because of the August 22nd start, which is early this year.

Yeah, absolutely. We do recommend that our students get their applications complete within two to three weeks. And we definitely support you with next steps in terms of that personal statement, that resume that’s, that’s a recommendation as well. So a two to three week timeline is something that we aim for with our students as well.

That’s awesome advice there as well. Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Shane. Thank you, Dr. Rams for your time. This evening, it’s been super useful and all that information that I know will be. Fed back to my students, for sure. Um, and I’m hoping the attendees here, do you reach out to us and we’ll be more than happy [00:47:00] to answer any more questions that you might have, and it does look like we are done for this evening, so I will let you guys go.

Thank you so much for your time again and have a great rest of your evening guys. Thanks everybody. Bye. Thank you. Bye bye. Thanks Pam. Thank you.

MS Computer Science Transcript

[00:00:00] Again, good afternoon. My name is Susan. Welcome to the masters of science of computer science, virtual open house. And this specifically addresses the online program. Please post in the chat. Okay. Somebody has your name and where you’re from and whether you can hear me. Okay. Thanks. Oh, here we go. Hey Justin, how are you?

And we have somebody from Woodbridge, CFL. I hope I’m pronouncing your name correctly. Jose. Welcome. Everybody can y’all hear me. Okay. Hi Nadia. Thank you. appreciate it. So again, throughout the session, we’re just gonna wait a few more minutes to let everybody join. Okay. Loud and clear. Perfect. Be sure to go ahead and type in your questions and then we’ll address those towards the end.

And I’m fortunate enough to be joined. By Dr. Rob Petit, who is the program director [00:01:00] for the online masters of computer science. So again, we’ll get started in a couple minutes. We’ll just hang out, hang tight, wait for everybody to join us. And again, thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to join us.

So do appreciate that by the way, I want to tell you if you’re not in contact with an admissions representative from Mason, you can contact me or. I’ll post the main number so that you can contact any of our enrollment counselors, because we’re happy to assist you. Okay. So wanted to let you know that as well.

So let me go ahead and do that. Here’s my information. And then of course, our admissions team as well, that is. The main email and the number and all of us are happy to assist you. It’s our [00:02:00] pleasure. Okay. It’s 1205. So we’re gonna go ahead and get started again. My name is Susan. I’m an online admissions rep for George Mason and the online virtual open house for the masters of computer science. And it’s my pleasure to be joined by Dr. Robert Petit, who is the online program director, and please throughout the session post any of your questions, we’ll address those towards the end. And so again, we’re gonna go ahead and get started.

So, let’s see, I’m gonna go ahead and forward the slide. Okay. There we go. And so without further ado, Dr. Petit, welcome again. Thank you for taking the time outta your busy day. If you can just share a little bit about your background and a little bit about this great program. All right. Thank you. So I am Rob Petit.

I am a professor of [00:03:00] practice here at George Mason. The professor of practice title means that I essentially bring my industry experience combined with my academic experience. To, to the program. I am a George Mason alumni. I have my master’s and PhD from here. And I have spent the last 30, some odd years in industry before joining Mason full time in the fall.

I was an adjunct professor before that, but I spent 30 years in the aerospace industry as a software engineer and hopefully bring a lot of those lessons learned into. This program. So let’s go ahead and talk about the program. Next slide please. So this is for the online masters of computer science. I’ve got a few charts coming up, but I wanted to say a couple things first here that for your expectations for this online program, [00:04:00] One is that the admissions criteria for the online MSCs is exactly the same as the in person on ground MSCs at George Mason, we intentionally kept it the same.

The courses are the same and that’s very intentional. So that. If you did choose at some point that you wanted to come to campus, because there, there is a larger breadth of classes offered on campus. It would require a form of some sort, but you could do that. The criteria is the same. This is not watered down.

This is not really any different. And that’s something that a lot of the online MSCs programs cannot. That there, there is a distinct difference in many cases. Now, in terms of your expectation for the classes, they are fully online, fully asynchronous. So [00:05:00] they’re, and by asynchronous, I mean that they’re typically run asynchronous by week.

They would have weekly modules spread out through a 15 week normal semester or a 12 week, summer semester. That might actually go up to 14 weeks. Next summer. I think we got special permission to do that. So it’s the typical schedule, but within a week you can choose when you take the class, when you attend the lecture that they’re all recorded, the professor will have office hours. Uh, the office hours might actually be at a, at a specific day or time, but they would also be recorded and there would not be any attendance requirement for that. So if you have questions, you can always submit them on a discussion board or email the professor, and then they would get addressed.

We’re also teaching these courses [00:06:00] with actual professors. There are graduate teaching assistants also, but there would be a professor in charge of the class and you would have access to the professor. So I know some of the other online courses you’re expected to go read the FAQ section before you ever ask anything.

And then you might ask a GTA and maybe eventually you get to a professor. That’s not what we want here. We want you to have the same again. access to professors. As you would expect in the, uh, the in person scenario. So that’s the setting, the stage for our program. So go ahead to the next slide, please.

Sure. And that’s fantastic because it just sounds like you have the same awesome education, but just with that added flexibility, that is our goal. And, and I will also say that as an alumni, I am very highly protective of that [00:07:00] because anything that would water down the degree would then basically water down.

My degrees and so I try to be very protective that these courses have the same. Same quality. Fantastic. All right. Some of the driving forces, first off, if you’re here, if you’re considering the masters in computer science, then you know what the market is for computer science graduates. Our program is growing by leaps and bounds.

As most of the country is growing. In terms of computer science, we are the largest CS program. The state of Virginia, one of the largest in the country, and this program was created in part to handle some of that growth. We have limited space on campus, but if we have this parallel online program, then we can help more people get through [00:08:00] with these degrees.

We also wanted to address the flexibility needed for the students. That, that was actually one of the things that drew me to Mason in the first place. Our in person, masters programs were even originally designed to support the working student. So if you went here for the in person masters, you would take classes at night that was designed to support the working student.

This goes to the next step with online classes to support you where you are. When you’re available. Sorry, I just whacked my ring on my desk. So we definitely want to address the, the flexible needs of the modern student. We also want to be different than other online MSCs programs. I know we all know that you have lots of choices right now for online master’s programs.

And once you start digging [00:09:00] into them, you’re going to find some stark differences. Not all of the programs. As I mentioned earlier, have the same quality as an in person program, many would go to the, this massively online. Model where you could have, I know have at least one, I won’t name it, but at least one program that has a thousand plus students in a class.

Goodness. But that’s a little crazy. So you’re not going to find any more students in your online class here than you would in, in one of our regular classes. So we’re trying to keep that down. We’re also making sure that that we’re offering. Identical courses to the degree that an online course can be identical.

It’s the same course numbers, same course titles, same learning objectives, just with a smaller set of courses. So for the online experience, I’d have to count, but I believe you’re going to have 13 [00:10:00] total classes that you can choose from amongst the much larger repertoire that we have in person. Yeah. So that’s basically our driving forces there.

One of the things that I was asked ahead of time, too, is what does an MSCs degree give you that you might not already get from, from having a bachelor’s degree in computer science? And there’s a few answers to that for the working student. It may or may not give you more money. Statistics say it does give a certain percent increase. I think that 28% is the one that, that was thrown out that is over the lifespan of your career, but it does open up more doors. So it opens up more possibilities for promotions. It certainly makes you more competitive in your current job, as well as finding other jobs, if, and when you choose to switch.

And there are certain things that are covered at the master’s level that you would typically not have had at the undergrad. [00:11:00] And when we get into. Our next slide in a minute here, I’ll go over that with some of the courses, but two of the big areas and two of the areas that we chose to focus on for the online master’s program are AI and machine learning, as well as software engineering.

Those are two areas that are typically, barely touched on in bachelor’s degrees. And if you really want to break out into that area and get into more of the AI and machine learning, or maybe get into more of the software engineering and architecting and design and project management, those are areas where you really need the master’s degrees to, to back up your credentials, to move into those areas to the next slide.

This is, this is a sample of our courses. Now we are, we are really just getting started with this program. So we [00:12:00] just, we just started launching this program this past year. So we don’t have everything developed yet, but this is the plan and it’s a pretty solid plan. So in terms of your overall requirements for the MSCs, there are 10 courses required, totaling 30 credit hours.

That’s typical for any master’s program. There are a number of required courses that I indicated with asterisks here. So CS five 30, which is your mathematical foundations. Basically higher level discreet math CS 5 83, which is a graduate algorithms class and CS 5 31, which is a graduate systems programming class.

Those three are required. And then beyond that, you need to fill out the rest of your courses. Completing courses from at least two topic areas and at least [00:13:00] four classes have to be designated advanced. And I, I, I marked those with the parenthesis a on here. So the way we structured the online Ms. CS degree here at George Mason is that we chose to capitalize on two of our biggest strengths within our overall program, which is the AI and software engineering. So those are the areas where you can go the deepest in with our master’s. And satisfied the degree with those classes. This would also set you up if you wanted to continue on with a PhD again, being at the same caliber as our regular master’s degree in person master’s degree, this would be accepted anywhere that required a master’s degree to get into, to a PhD program.

If you wanted to go into more depth into. Say that the AI area. All right. So [00:14:00] this is our breadth of classes. You can choose some basic classes and systems and networks and visual computing, but then we did put the majority of our classes and our advanced classes in, in the AI and the software engineering area, or for whatever historical holdout.

The computer vision is actually more of an AI class, but was categorized under visual computing. So that’s just an artifact from before AI was so prevalent. We actually had computer vision before that, and it got categorized into visual computing doc, Dr. Petit, can I ask, so is it possible to test out of five 30 and 5 31?

Yes. Okay. Perfect. There. And I don’t have the website up to share and I’ve got way too many tabs open to try to do no worries. No worries. But if you just, the easiest [00:15:00] thing is to Google, just Google, computer science, George Mason. Yes. And, and you’ll get to the page, the masters of computer science.

Yep. Yeah. And then you can look at. At the requirements to test out. We typically hold those tests at the beginning of each semester. Okay. So 5, 5 30 and 5 31. I know have tests for, I think 5 83 does too, but I would have to look okay. Good to know. Good to know. All right. Any other questions on that?

Nobody’s posting questions. Shame on y’all. come on. Don’t be shy. Don’t be shy. Okay. You ready to all sure. Let’s let’s go. Okay, again, I’m here to assist you with the application process. And so are my colleagues. So if you’re not already working with someone, go ahead and reach out to us on the main number.

We’re happy to [00:16:00] assist you. If you’re already working with me. You know who you are, Justin. You’re one of them just continue to reach out to me. I’m happy to assist. Okay. And so I’m gonna go ahead and forward the slide to the degree requirements, because that’s super important. Take it away, Dr. Petit. All right.

So. For degree requirements. We obviously need you to have a bachelor’s degree that would typically be a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Although if you have an engineering degree or such, that has these required courses, that would be fine too. So what we’re really looking for is a bachelor’s degree that included data structures.

Preferably with an object oriented language, finite automata, and formal languages, uh, formal methods that of course by many different titles, it could be opt automata. Algorithm design, formal methods, anything like that satisfies [00:17:00] the second bullet. Then we need a class in computer architecture that includes programming and assembly language.

And we make that distinction because we’ve seen classes that just basically give you an overview of. What is the hardware in a computer, but this is a computer science degree. So we wanted to make sure that you’ve actually had some experience writing assembly, math requirements are calculus one and two and discreet math.

So that’s like set theory and so forth, discreet logic. So those are what your bachelor’s degree. Needed to have, or you could have augmented some of these at the community college level that they don’t all have to be from the same institution, but you have to have a bachelor’s degree and check off these courses.

Oh, question. Yes. So with respect to that bachelor’s degree. I know you’re typically looking for computer science techy sort [00:18:00] of degree background. What if somebody’s a career changer? Maybe has a question. Yeah. Uh, so, uh, I’ll plug, but has the prereqs, if you have prereqs, then you’re fine. Okay. Okay. Yeah.

Perfect. If let’s say you’ve got a bachelor’s in English, but then you went back and got these separate classes, either at a community college or just a under non-degree status. You’re good to go. Oh, fantastic. I love that. And that’s actually one thing that we want to promote and if you dive into. Our websites, you, you will start to see that we will be offering a bridge certificate coming up, unfortunately, not online yet, but starting next year, we will have a bridge certificate specifically for people that do not have a computer science degree, but want to break into, into the computing field without necessarily going back and getting a full [00:19:00] bachelor’s again.

That would just be ridiculous to have to go back and get a second bachelor’s. So when do you expect that to launch? I’m so sorry. The certificate is launching in. the fall, I believe the fall or the spring. I don’t know if we got it in time to the accreditation board to get a fall launch. Okay. So you’re saying fall of 22, but you think it’s this spring?

It might actually it’s right around the corner. Yeah. Yeah. That’s January. Yeah. Okay. We already have the courses available where you could simply take as a non-degree status, but the certificate will formalize it. And basically say that you complete this check all these boxes with sufficient grades, and then you automatically get admitted to the MSCs program.

Fantastic. And, and it is structured in a way for the in person MSCs right now, but we would make the same accommodation for online. Wait, say that again with the online. [00:20:00] So the certificate is in person, correct. And it is designed for the in person master’s degree, but we, but we would make the same admissions determination for the online degree.

So if you checked all those boxes with the certificate and then gotcha. Be admitted to either our in person or our online degree. Fantastic. Now you did mention an alternative name for that second prereq theta. So you said something about algorithms and then what was it? Yeah, so it could be analysis of algorithms.

It could be formal methods could be a formal theory. Okay. Formal methods. Yeah. Okay, perfect. Yeah, there, there’s good to know. I’ve seen it called theory of computing. Oh, okay. So there’s several different titles for that one. Okay, but it’s good to know because yeah. I didn’t know if it had to be specifically that name, right?

No. And on our website, [00:21:00] we actually go into more depth about what constitutes these classes. So if you’re curious, if, if you wanna see if course in question actually matches these, then just simply go to the GMU catalog and you can look up these courses and. What would be covered in them, fantastic. Or feel free to email me and I’ll be happy to look at it and answer your questions as well.

Okay. All right. Fantastic. Now the other thing is, though, everybody can see you need the online application, the transcripts resume, blah, two professional rec references. Now I understand that y’all prefer academic. Reference is that correct? I think it says that somewhere. I, I don’t make a big distinction.

Okay, fantastic. No, I guess the reason being is what do you do for a student that’s been outta school for 10 years and works exactly. You know, like exactly. I I’m, I am not going to say that. And [00:22:00] I’m the one looking at the applications. There you go. There you go. I love it. Okay. And then if, I don’t know if this is, so what if somebody.

Has taken all these courses, but maybe went into another field and then they wanna come back to it. Would they tend to take refresher courses or that, that would be up to the student if they have taken them. We’re going to we’re we’re gonna say that satisfies it. Is there a time limit if it was 10 years?

Is that. I recently had a situation where I questioned that, that, and I got the answer that no, we don’t know of any time limit. Wow. That’s terrific. Now would caveat that. Okay. And say that. If you’re saying my age and you did your undergraduate degree back in the eighties or [00:23:00] nineties, early nineties, you probably would not have experienced an object oriented language or data structures in an object oriented paradigm.

And migrated into that, that object oriented mindset. Then I would highly recommend taking a refresher course just to make sure that you’re up to speed on modern object oriented approaches. We have seen students that have not had the object oriented data structures for programming, and they come in and they have a very difficult time.

Trying to change the way that they think about things and, and the way that they apply abstraction. So if you don’t have experience with object oriented languages at all, or concepts that then yes, I, I would recommend a refresher course. We’ll still, uh, we’ll still say that it satisfies our requirements, but it could be difficult [00:24:00] for you at the master’s level.

Sure. And the bottom line is, is that you want the students to be successful. Absolutely. That’s what it’s all about. Totally. Okay. All right. What would you say the average number of hours required per week would be, oh goodness. that’s not the first time I’ve had that question and I still have a good answer for it.

10 to 15. Maybe. Okay. Okay. All right. It depends on the course. Some courses are more intensive than others. Okay. It also depends on your interest level. Some courses you’re going to like more than others and might not require you to spend as much time on. Okay, so understood. And how about group work?

Because you’re dealing with working individuals, right? I mean, they’re busy and it’s an online program. We do have some classes that do group work and [00:25:00] to my knowledge, all of those classes allow you to self form in, into groups. So I don’t know if anybody that forces you into a group. So we do try to make it.

That you can reach out to others and try to coordinate with others that might have similar schedules. And so far it works that’s, and that’s not a whole lot of different than some of the things that you would experience in the, in person masters that. We have group work here and it is the same thing.

Many of our students are working students and the professors recognize that and try to be as flexible as we can. Okay. Thank you for that. And, um, so basically the program and correct me if I’m wrong with anything, it’s an 18 month program. And what you do is you take two classes every 15 weeks. However, the summer is shorter.

Program consists of 10 [00:26:00] classes for 30 credits. That is the typical way to do it. Although we ha we are seeing some students that just want to take one course at a time and we’re not forcing them to take two classes. It will take you a long time to get done if you’re only taking one class, but oh, just 36 months, then it’s 36 months.

That’s true. That’s true. So it’s not that long. And. We actually, this is, I hope it doesn’t take you all that this long, but we give you up to seven years to complete the degree. So if something life happens and that flexibility is wonderful. And, and I did my master’s degree here working full time. There you go, certainly be done.

Okay. And we accept up to 12 potential transfer credits. Is that correct? I believe that is correct. Yes. Okay. And I want to tell y’all that. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but Mason is actually ranked seventh in the entire nation. Okay. As a value ranked [00:27:00] school. So what that translates for you is getting a great bang for your buck.

Okay. Like a private school education with this program, but at a public school rate. Really awesome. And I love the way you’re getting that education, just like a campus student, but you’re not having to fight traffic or find a parking space or, or fight inclement weather, whether it’s raining or snowing or whatever in the comfort of your own home.

So that’s, that’s very nice as well. Dr. Petit, do you have anything to add regarding the emissions requirements? No. I think that pretty much covers it. Okay. The next slide is Q and a and again, I hear crickets there’s. Come on. Y’all help me out here. Any questions? Because we have Dr. Petit here and he’s the expert.

Okay. Oh, I, I did. I did wanna throw one thing outta yes, please. I was Googling while you said. The thing about Mason. So I couldn’t [00:28:00] remember our, our exact rankings, but our current rankings are that we are in the top 50 computer science programs nationwide. Wow. Wow. That’s phenomenal because that’s amazing.

So thank you for sharing that. That is terrific. Okay guys, any questions? Because I’m gonna let Dr. Petit go. He’s a busy man. Come on. Oh, Hey, we got a question. Okay, perfect. Thanks Jose. Are there any graduate certificates or focuses? So as part of our online program, there are not, but I don’t have the website up, but if you go to our CS page. There are concentrations that we have for the in person. So if you did a number of classes online and then wanted to add one of those certificates or add one of those concentrations, [00:29:00] you could just switch to in person to complete those. Let me see if I can find that real quick. And you know, that’s, you had mentioned this previously, but I can tell you about it.

It’s super easy. It’s called a change of calendar form. And so you complete. And we process it and it’s just a one time switcher. So it actually goes both ways. Campus students that decide, Hey, I want that online flexibility. There’s that one time switcheroo that’s allowed. If you wanted to start out with online and do your core courses, and then decided that you wanted that other electives that are offered specifically on campus, you could do, but only allowed once a one time switch.

Okay. So another question let’s see, I noticed that, Hey Justin, I noticed that there was a machine learning class on the class schedule online. but on the previous slide, it was [00:30:00] AI one and two. Do these courses have the same content? Great question. All right. So I’m going back to that again. Let me know if you need me to repeat that.

And you’re asking if CS five 80 and CS 6 87, have a machine learning component. I, you would get an introduction to machine learning. I’m trying to pull up our catalog as we go here. Now, Jose, you mentioned, you said I looked online and the links seemed to be missing. Yeah, I, for what just saw that. We had a blue book on our server, uh, a couple weeks ago.

So I will let the web committee know that those pages are not back up. Oh, thank you. Thank you. Good to know. Thank you for that. Uh, hang on. And. Another student. So the machine learning concentration would have, would have most of those classes on campus. Not online. We do not have [00:31:00] those planned for online yet.

Okay. So again, but you can start out online, have that added flexibility, and then you can switch over to campus. Okay. So another student is asking, I haven’t taken some prereq courses. Do I have to take those courses B for applying and the answer to that would be yes. Yes. Those are hard prereqs, correct?

Dr. Petit, I’ll give you. Wow. It depends answer. Oh my goodness. With the caveat that if you’re. A us student, what we can do is if you satisfy most everything, but you’re missing a couple prerequisites we can do, what’s called a, a conditional or a provisional admission and say, okay, everything else looks good.

As soon as you finish these, we can admit you. So if you wanna go ahead and put in the paperwork, we certainly have the power to. Do that type of, of admission and look at everything and say, [00:32:00] yep, you got your bachelor’s degree. You got calculus, but maybe you’re missing a couple of the CS classes go and get those with a B or better or C or better.

I forget what our requirements are actually year better, B or better be better. I’ve been looking at too many applications this week and, and then you would go directly into the program after you satisfied. Those conditions. We can’t do it for foreign students due to visa requirements. There’s certain things that they get hung up funky in, in the admissions process with, with visa requirements where we’re not allowed to do conditional or, or provisional admission for those, but for us students, we can do those type of things.

But question, if somebody is in India and doesn’t need a visa, then they could do it right. Cuz it, they don’t need a visa. That is my understanding. We are trying to get that verified through our office of [00:33:00] international studies. I think it’s something that the university had not really thought of, but we see no reason why that cannot be okay.

Okay. Yeah. Cuz I’ve had applicants that have gotten and accepted and enrolled for other programs that are yes, as long as you don’t need it to apply for a visa, it shouldn’t be a problem. Okay. Okay. Fantastic. Fantastic. Any other questions going once going twice. Okay. Sold. It was such a pleasure, Dr. Petit.

Thank you so much for your time. Thank you today. And please do let me know if you have any questions that you think of later. I’m happy to answer. Terrific. Terrific. Okay. Thank you, everyone for joining us. I hope that this has been informative for you again, if you don’t have an enrollment counselor that is assisting you.

Wait, is those two new messages? Did I? No, I don’t see it. Oh, [00:34:00] thank you. Yes. Yes. You’re welcome. those are the two new messages. okay. Reach out to your enrollment counselor. If you have one, if not just call the main number, we’re happy to assist. So have a great rest of the afternoon and have a wonderful weekend.

And thanks again, Dr. Petit take care everybody.

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